Health Care

At Obamacare rally in Miami, activists call on Congress to preserve health law

Doctors and nurses at Jackson Memorial Hospital joined a group of civic activists and patients in Miami on Thursday to advocate for Congress to preserve the health insurance coverage gains made by an estimated 1.5 million Floridians under the Affordable Care Act.

Standing before a tour bus covered in an image of a hospital emergency room and the words, “Save My Care,” Tom Masterson, a physician and urology resident at Jackson Memorial, said that uninsured patients continue to overwhelm Miami-Dade’s safety net healthcare system.

“If they’re going to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Masterson said, “we need something in place to cover these patients. They can’t just be put back on the streets.”

Martha Baker, president of the labor union that represents Jackson Memorial doctors and nurses, said the health law known as Obamacare gives more Floridians the chance to see a doctor on a regular basis — instead of waiting until their health condition turns into a medical emergency.

“Sick care is five times more expensive than wellness and prevention,” she said. “You can manage someone’s hypertension before they have a stroke.”

The rally was sponsored by a nonprofit advocacy group, Save My Care, which launched a cross-country bus tour to raise awareness about the ACA, and by SEIU 1991, the union representing doctors and nurses at Jackson Memorial.