The future of the Affordable Care Act is up in the air, on the eve of the advent of the Trump administration and with a new Congress sworn in.
That prompted the relatively new group, Stand Up for Social Justice, to hold a vigil in downtown Bloomington earlier this month. The group plans monthly vigils on a variety of social issues.
Julie Prandi, co-founder of Stand Up for Social Justice, said the group is concerned not only about individuals losing their medical coverage under the health care law, but also with potential job losses.
"There's going to be a lot of economic disruption if this bill (ACA) is repealed and a lot of people will lose their jobs," Prandi said. "It's been estimated that, in our state, more than 100,000 people will lose their jobs if this Act is repealed," she added.
Prandi said the subsidies that people now depend on to buy their insurance on the markets that have been established will be taken away. She said the group is also concerned the Medicaid expansion which came about through the ACA, is at risk under a Republican 'repeal and replace' process.
Small business owners and some individuals have long complained about skyrocketing premiums under the ACA. Prandi said it's important to take the long view.
"It's been shown that Obamacare has actually reduced the rate of increase in health care costs. Certainly, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect and could be improved, but from what I've heard, what the Republican Congress has planned does not seem like an improvement," Prandi added.
President-elect Donald Trump this week promised "insurance for everybody" once his Health and Human Services Secretary-designate is in place. Prandi said that will be tough for him to do.
"If you take away the individual mandate, or the mandate requiring large employers to insure their employees, then how do you fund the popular aspects of the law?" she questioned. "I don't think I've heard an answer to that question yet.