WHY WE GATHERED: On May 4th, the House of Representatives passed the American Healthcare Act. The AHCA slashes Medicaid funding by $880 billion and increases the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million. AHCA also eliminates protections for those with pre-existing conditions and effectively ends a nationwide ban on annual and lifetime limits. The bill also allows states to eliminate essential health benefits, rolling back the clock to the days when plans did not cover maternity care, or mental health services.
For Tennessee, the impact of AHCA will be devastating. Number of uninsured Tennesseans will increase by 578,000. Premiums for Tennesseans will increase, on average, by $5,709. Furthermore, 1.2 million Tennesseans have pre-existing conditions that, before the ACA, could not obtain coverage: if AHCA passes, the fate of these individuals is uncertain.
Tuesday, May 9, concerned Tennesseans had hoped to deliver the names, stories, and concerns of those at risk of losing healthcare access under the AHCA to Senators Alexander and Corker, but were met with barricades and locked doors.
THE INVITATION: We invited all people of conscience and courage (family and pet friendly!) to rally at Elmington Park (corner of West End and Bowling Avenues) followed by a silent march to the nearby Nashville residence of Senator Lamar Alexander to hold a candlelight vigil. This was a peaceful, lawful vigil urging Senator Alexander to consider the damage he will inflict on millions of American families if he votes for this cruel legislation.