Around 85 people gathered in front of Rep. Ed Royce’s Brea office Wednesday in a last-minute effort to encourage him to vote against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“People will die without the Affordable Care Act. That is what it comes down to,” said Indivisible CA-39 rally organizer and CSUF alumnus Chris Hon.
The House of Representatives is set to vote Thursday on a bill that would replace and repeal parts of Obamacare. Ralliers focused their efforts on the last possible night to persuade Royce before he makes his decision.
“I remain concerned about the rising cost of health care for Southern Californians and am listening to the feedback I’ve received from my constituents on this bill,” Royce said in an email through a spokesperson.
The protest started shortly after 6 p.m. on the street in front of Royce’s office. The group yelled chants and asked for support from people walking by.
Protesters held signs that read “Keep America covered” and “Ed Royce, kill the bill not your constituents” as organizers from Indivisible CA-39 led the rally and march to the corner of Brea Boulevard and Imperial Highway.
Speakers took to the front of the crowd to express the positive impact that the ACA had in their lives and the growing number of people willing to lend their support since President Donald Trump was elected.
“A friend of mine asked me why I go out to the rallies and demonstrations and I said because if I’m not out here, I’m at home yelling at my TV,” said one protester during a speech.
The crowd cheered as onlookers drove by honking and yelling support.
Participant Jeff Rosenblum, fifth-year CSUF economic and business administration student, said he wishes more young people would get involved in politics.
“I want to see more people getting involved at Cal State Fullerton specifically,” Rosenblum said. “I want to see people lose their sense of apathy and gain a sense of responsibility that this is their country too.”
Hon led chants like “We will not give up this fight! Health care is a human right!” and “The people united will never be divided.”
“I’d like to think we’re here not because we hate Republicans but because we love our country,” Hon said.
Hon ended the rally by getting the group to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before walking back to the front of Royce’s office.
Rosenblum believes Royce will lose future constituent support if he votes for the revisions and repeals in the upcoming bill.
“If Ed Royce votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that will spell the end for him in 2018. He will be out in 2018,” Rosenblum said.
CSUF alumna Sarah Goodwin said she attended the rally because she gets access to health care through the ACA and she wanted to get more politically involved in light of the Trump election.
“I think this rushed bill is going to take away health care for millions of people and it is going to hurt people. People will literally die if this is passed,” Goodwin said. “This is something that is really important just on principle of caring about other people.”