What you need to know about a pro-Obamacare group’s efforts in Utah

by Rhett Wilkinson

On a damp evening in late March at the Utah Capitol Rotunda, Psarah Johnson gave many reasons for why she spoke at the Healthcare Rights Coalition’s “Protect Patients” program. It was meant to promote the Affordable Care Act over legislation like the one that on May 4 passed the House that many call health care reform disguised as tax reform and a protection of tax cuts for the richest Americans.

Among Johnson’s reasons:

“Disability doesn’t discriminate, but a for-profit healthcare system does.”

“Health savings accounts aren’t an option when you have nothing to save.”

“We need to be taking care of the people who need it.”

Stacy Stanford is the membership coordinator of the coalition and a Utahn who brought the organization to the state.

“President Trump said we get Obamacare if this doesn’t pass — make your calls,” she pleaded to attendees.

Later, at a rally on the 4th asking the Senate not to pass the bill the House sent them, Stanford spoke to fox13now.com.

“We’re mourning,” she said. “We’re sad about those whose lives are at risk.”

She noted she got messages from folks concerned about the legislation.

“Terrified people with severe disabilities and chronic illnesses,” she said. “I woke up to messages, ‘OK, so when do I lose my health care?’”

According to its Facebook page, “the Healthcare Rights Coalition believes healthcare is a human right. … We believe that anyone seeking medical care should have equitable access to all that is medically and technologically available as soon as it is brought to market.”
The mission, as outlined on the Fb page: “The Healthcare Rights Coalition is dedicated to preserving the ACA (Obamacare) in whole and in part while improving upon its basic tenets and preserving health care for all. … Our members’ lives depend upon it.”

The Capitol program and Senate-appeal rally are among several other actions in which the organization has participated since the Trump inauguration.

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