Marchers show support for Obamacare in Detroit

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Detroit — Ed Weberman is girding for a fight.

The Affordable Care Act, which is in danger of being replaced by Republicans at the urging of President Trump, has been a godsend, he said, to those who have pre-existing conditions.

So Weberman, a White Lake Township lawyer, and nearly 50 others came out and held signs and marched Thursday near Hart Plaza in the city’s downtown to bring attention to the possible end of former President Obama’s signature but controversial legislation that helped insure millions, including those with pre-existing conditions like his 24-year-old son.

After confronting his congressman, U.S. Rep. David Trott, R-Birmingham, at a spirited town hall in Novi on health care last week, Weberman took him up on an offer to fly to Washington to meet him on Tuesday, he said.

“The insurance companies don’t want to insure sick people,” said Weberman, whose son was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is still on his father’s insurance.

And even though the battle seems tough, “I smell victory,” Weberman said.

“What these protests are doing is allowing people to hear what it really means,” he said. “I was not an expert in health care until my son got sick. The voices are being heard in Washington, I’m telling you, even on the Republican side.”

The so-called funeral march, organized by the Michigan People’s Campaign to coincide with the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, aims to drive home the belief that if Congress repeals and replaces it, 24 million would lose health insurance.

Weberman said he is worried about the Republicans who say they want to keep pre-existing conditions in the new health care bill but put sick people in “high-risk pools” as well as have caps on health care costs, which would be disastrous for people like his son.

“We woke up on November 9th and what do we do now,” he said. “There are two choices: We can complain or do something about it. So I’ve decided to do something about it.”

Linda Ford, 60, of Dearborn Heights, who held a sign that stated, “Michigan Takes a Stand” and “Save Our Healthcare,” said so many Americans have no clue what the health care act “has given them.”

Her husband is a lawyer with his own business and Ford operates as his assistant. They had high premiums because he had pre-existing ailments, but the Affordable Care Act helped lower the costs when it was passed, she said.

“I just don’t think there’s a full comprehension of what it’s all about,” Ford said. “I don’t think they realize what’s going on and what’s going to happen. Seriously. Especially people that deserve it most, the underserved, there’s so busy just trying to figure out how to live.”

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Twitter: @leonardnfleming