Vigil for the Affordable Care Act in Harrisonburg

Jun 29, 2017

The efforts of congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, are concerning many people. Some of them attended a so-called “Health Care Vigil” Wednesday night on Harrisonburg’s Court Square, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Organized by Virginia House of Delegates 26th District hopeful Brent Finnegan and attended by over 75 people, the vigil began with a moment of silence to remember those impacted by the current national debate, followed by speeches including by Finnegan, health policy scholar Timothy Jost, and several beneficiaries of the ACA.

One speaker was Hannah Facknitz, who said that the cost to treat and manage her ongoing medical needs is $30,000 each month.

HANNAH FACKNITZ: Now that I'm 26 I have to come off of my dad's health insurance, which means I have to find my own health care. The only place I can find it is on the health insurance marketplace.

BRENT FINNEGAN [speech]: Everyone deserves access to health care. This is not an extreme statement.

Finnegan said he also gets insurance through the ACA.

FINNEGAN [interview]: The federal government is abdicating their responsibility to the people of the entire country. What the states are going to have to do is get creative, get innovative, and really come up with bold solutions to these problems created by a federal government stepping back from its commitments to the people. The path to Medicare for all nationwide is through the state houses.

Current 26th District delegate Tony Wilt did not respond to requests for comment for this story.