PITTSBURGH — A dedicated group of protesters is settling in for a night on the streets of downtown Pittsburgh.
They are opposed to the health care bill the Senate unveiled Thursday.
Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey is one of 13 senators who crafted it in secret and protesters want him to hear their concerns.
“It's been demeaning for the people who hired him to do his job,” said Lizzie Anderson, one of the demonstrators who say they are sending a message to Toomey, camping outside his office on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh overnight.
“I need health care and I only have it through the Affordable Care Act,” said Julia Willis. She is disabled because of a late Lyme disease diagnosis and is scared her coverage will go away.
The bill is still in draft form and actually keeps the basic framework of "Obamacare," but with major changes.
It would repeal the mandate to buy insurance, but keeps protections for people with pre-existing conditions such as Willis.
It keeps the expansion of Medicaid through 2020, but then phases it out.
Fewer people will qualify for tax credits to help buy insurance.
Forty three protesters were arrested and dragged from Senate office buildings Thursday.
Senator Ted Cruz is one of four Republican senators publicly opposing the draft.
Senator Toomey's office sent us this statement: “Obamacare is collapsing. Taxes, premiums and costs are skyrocketing all while health care choices and access to care have dwindled."
The senator adds that nobody who has Obamacare will have the rug pulled out from under them.
Cox Media Group