Western New Yorkers will gather outside Congressman Chris Collins’ Williamsville office on Thursday afternoon to stage a die-in demonstration, sparked by his vote on the American Health Care Act. A coordinated sister event will be simultaneously held in front of the Congressman’s Geneseo office.
The die-in is sponsored by a number of local organizations, all upset about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They say the repeal will decimate healthcare safeguards by allowing insurance providers to raise premiums for people with pre-existing conditions or deny them care outright.
They are also concerned about the rollback of Medicaid expansion programs designed to help the working poor. They say the repeal measure approved in the U.S. House of Representatives enables the healthcare industry to place a higher burden on the elderly by charging them five times more for coverage.
Collins voted in favor of the repeal bill. Organizers of the die-on say he is "willfully blind to the impact this legislation will have on his constituents."
“My son has high-risk neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer with a 50 percent survival rate," said Collins constituent Melissa Leitzan. "I was so thankful for the ACA, knowing he would always be covered, but now I have real fear and anxiety that his pre-existing condition will prevent him from having affordable health care, especially if the cancer returns. The votes of Chris Collins and the GOP, in their haste to erase President Obama’s legacy, seem deliberately cruel.”