Hunterdon Review

Rally For Affordable Care Act Gathers Outside Lance's Flemington Office

Hunterdon Review — February 12, 2017


About 100 protestors rallied outside the Flemington office of Rep. Leonard Lance, R-7, on Route 31 South in Raritan Township on Wednesday, Feb. 8, in support of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Social Security.

Traffic flew by the busy Route 31 site, with some drivers blowing their horns and waving in support, while an occasional heckler would try to shout down the bullhorn and chanting from the crowd.

The group NewJersey Citizen Action is holding similar candlelight vigils outside the offices of Lance, Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-11, Frank LoBiondo, R-2, and Christopher Henry Smith, R-4, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday in February to show its opposition to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as "Obamacare."

"This is our weekly healthcare vigil, it's our Moral Wednesday action, to call on Congressman Lance to reject the repeal of the ACA. and save healthcare for 800,000 people in New Jersey," said Dena Mottola Jaborski, Director of Organizing and Advocacy for New Jersey Citizen Action. "This is one of eight that is happening right now, outside all the Republican congressmen's offices every Wednesday.

"This the fourth one actually, we've been out here for four weeks. The first one we did told a lot of stories by who would be affected," Jaborski said.

Rev. Susan Schessler of High Bridge, co-pastor of The Church of the Good Shepherd, was wearing a button on her coat that read "Love Trumps Hate."

"Humanity, justice, morality, intelligence, logic — you name it, everything that's not happening, brings me here," she said.

Celeste Fleming of Lebanon Township said she has been to the other rallies and that each week there are more and more people turning out.

"(I'm here) because Isee democracy eroding in front of my eyes and Iwant to do something to keep the ACA," Fleming said.

Dale Huang of Readington Township held up a two-sided sign that read "Health for everyone lifts U.S. all" on one side, and featured a quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. "We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away" and "You work for us."

"It reminds us that we can't be silent, we just can't," Huang said. "It really does impact every bit of our society, not just the individual, it impacts our community, even if your healthcare isn't affected, which is unlikely, it's affecting everybody down to closing the Medicare donut hole, getting rid of maximums, pre-existing conditions, so many things it's gotten rid of that really hurt people. But also, if everybody has healthcare, then they get rid of worrying about whether or not they'll be bankrupted, if they just go get that little thing that's worrying them checked out.

"All those anxieties are lifted and people get care earlier, and people get healthier, earlier, it costs us less, there are fewer emergency room visits which end up on the taxpayers' dime, you get things like mental health coverage, which improves everything — homelessness, crime, productivity increases, businesses don't have people calling out as much, gun crime is affected, everything is affected.

"Addiction becomes a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue, which means less stress on police and municipalities.

"It impacts everybody," Huang said.

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