Battle over Obamacare: Iowans call on Senators to oppose repeal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Battle over Obamacare: Iowans call on Senators to oppose repeal

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(KWWL) -

The battle over Obamacare on Capitol Hill is heating up as President Obama works with Congressional Democrats to plot the political defense of his signature health care law. On the opposing end, Vice President-elect Mike Pence meets with GOP members to rally his party around efforts to dispose of it. 

Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with Congressional Republicans to discuss how they'll repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

"The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare," said Pence. "Obamacare has failed."

President Obama made a visit to rally Democrats to defend Obamacare, while Pence geared up Republicans to dismantle it.     

"The Republican plan to cut healthcare wouldn't make America great again,' said Senator Chuck Schumer. "It would make America sick again."

Here in Eastern Iowa, there's a group of Iowans working to keep Obamacare in place. They're calling on Senators Grassley and Ernst to protect their health care. 

 Frustrated that the GOP has no replacement plan yet, or a way to pay for it, they're reaching out to Iowa Senators. 

"Of course it could be better, it needs to be better," said Iowa Citizen Action Network Executive Director Sue Dinsdale. "But that's what the Republicans in Congress need to be working on-improving it. And not just scrapping the whole deal."

67-year-old Lon Kammeyer is one Iowan who will be affected by the repeal of Obamacare. Under Obamacare, seniors receive guaranteed free access to things like blood pressure screenings, shots and cancer screenings. 

"So then, what am I supposed to do?" said Kammeyer. "Am I not supposed to pay my water bill, electric bill, you know, car insurance?"

As a former paratransit driver, Kammeyer says he understands the role Obamacare plays for Iowans with physical and mental disabilities who utilize health care coverage.

"They need to get their priorities straight," said Kammeyer. "Hey, lets look out for the people in the state. Lets take care of them."

Congressional Republicans made it clear that the GOP alternative might not kick in for another two years.

Obamacare is working to get coverage for more Americans. Only 11% of Americans have no insurance, as compared to 2009, when there was 16%.

The average premium cost is now $18,000 which is up 26% from 2009 where the average cost was $13,000. 

One of the reasons Republicans wants to get rid of Obamacare is because they say the cost is so expensive.

20 million Americans have gained insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

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