Supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rallied Saturday in Vista, urging lawmakers not to repeal Obamacare.
The rally was organized by Our Revolution, a nationwide group made up of Bernie Sanders supporters. Demonstrators gathered at the corner of Vista Village Drive and South Santa Fe Road, many holding signs with slogans such as “ACA For All.” According to organizers, the event was aimed at getting the attention of members of Congress.
“Don't repeal the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. Millions of lives are counting on the coverage provided by these programs,” a press release for the event said.
According to organizers, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R – 49TH District) was invited to attend the rally.
However, NBC 7 reached out to Issa’s office and his staff said that simply was not the case. His office said event organizers had not reached out to Issa in advance to invite the congressman to the rally.
Issa’s office said the congressman already had another public appearance scheduled for Saturday, to address the California Republican Party at their annual convention in Sacramento.
Issa released this statement to NBC 7 on Saturday:
“Americans are worried about the uncertainty on healthcare reform and it’s a concern that I share. Americans deserve to have a plan they know -- and that they can trust -- to deliver the kind of care they need, at a price level that they can afford.”
“Despite Obamacare's grand promises, Americans are still hurting under Obamacare. Higher premiums, fewer coverage options, larger deductibles, and canceled plans, are all real life examples of the damage Obamacare has put on American families. Rather than preserving these failures, we should use this as an opportunity to work together to eliminate the consistent shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act to deliver the kind of healthcare we deserve.”
Lisa Stevenson, who lives with pre-existing medical conditions and heavily relies on health care, was among the demonstrators at Saturday's rally.
HAPPENING NOW: Demonstrators rally at the corner of Vista Village Drive & Santa Fe Ave in #Vista in support of #Obamacare #ACA. #NBC7 pic.twitter.com/2Z45wEbWLt— Liberty Zabala (@LibertyNBC7SD) February 25, 2017
She said knowing she needs medical treatment to survive is much like, in her words, "getting a rug pulled right from under you."
She said that is ACA is repealed, she will be directly impacted.
"I’ll die. I have cancer. I won’t live," Stevenson told NBC 7. "I’m not the only one."
Debbie Mixon was also at the rally, showing her support for Obamacare with a sign that read: "Our Daughter Lives Because Obama Cared."
Mixon said her daughter is a breast cancer survivor who was able to receive treatment because of the Affordable Care Act. Her daughter is alive today, continuing her treatment.
While Congress is in recess, many lawmakers are back in their districts. Some are scheduling meetings with constituents. Issa has been criticized by some for not attending a town hall.
On Tuesday, Issa answered several questions from protestors outside his Vista office. What some would characterize as a protest, Issa described as a "wonderful town hall" on Friday.
U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (D- 51st District) spoke about the tension lawmakers are facing during the Congressional recess while in San Diego this week.
U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D - 52nd District) and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D- 53rd District) held a joint town hall in Liberty Station on Wednesday. They answered questions from a standing-room only crowd. Some in attendance demanded more outrage from their representatives.
NBC 7 sought out U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R - District) on Thursday to learn what meetings he's scheduled with constituents during his recess. A staffer from Hunter’s office said the congressman plans to hold a town hall on March 11, and also said Hunter had a lot of pre-arranged appointments already on his calendar during the recess.