Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hundreds Rally in Support of Health Care at State Capitol
By Brittany Bivins

Hundreds of Alabamians take to the capitol steps to support President Obama's Affordable Care Act and protest Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's decision not to set up a state health care exchange.

The NAACP sponsored Saturday's rally, but it brought in a diverse crowd, all of them with the same message for Alabama Governor Robert Bentley.

"I think everyone should have health care, and i'd like to encourage Governor Bentley to do what he needs to do to make sure that alabama becomes a healthier state," said David Lake, who came to the rally.

Last November, Bentley announced Alabama would not set up a state healthcare exchange, saying it would cost too much for taxpayers.

"Maybe he hasn't looked at it close enough. But we just ask him to look at it real closely," said Willie Dixon, who came from Washington County.

"As young people, it's something we can take care of, and it's very vital to us down the road in our future, once we graduate and start careers, we have families that we have to take care of, so it's important that we start now," said Jahquille Ross.

Many supporters say they already have insurance, but support universal healthcare. "Not everybody who favors the Affordable Care Act is looking for a handout. I'd say most people aren't. It's a crime that you can work 60 hours a week and still fall below the poverty level," said Ray Ables.

Earlier this week, Governor Bentley said that while he respects the NAACP, he doesn't think the current forms of the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid expansion are possible here in Alabama.