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Hundreds protest Pitts' office in Lancaster over vote against Obamacare

Updated: Saturday, September 21 2013, 03:27 PM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

LANCASTER -- Hundreds joined to rally in front of a local congressman's office saying he, as well as other U.S. Republicans are holding them hostage, in a sense from health care.

Healthcare workers and others from the Service Employee International Union marched down Queen Street in Lancaster on Friday afternoon toward the office of U.S. representative Joe Pitts, who serves Lancaster County.

For the 42nd time, the Republicans in the house voted to appeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Organizers at the rally say it wastes taxpayer dollars and of resources that could be spent on other critical issues.

Pitts, in a statement to CBS 21 News, said there's a better way than what those rally want.

"If I reach a lifetime cap, I won't get treatment," said Angi Depatto, a single mom in Lancaster who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

"That, for me, is a matter of life and death," she said.

Of the anticipated 700 people at the rally, a few speakers, like Depatto, shared their beliefs on why they support the Affordable Care Act.

While Patto's within Pitts' constituency, she feels he's not serving her needs.
"Congressman Pitts, you can hear me. You don't represent me and you don't represent my children who look up to me as a single mom," she said to the crowd.

While she begins chemotherapy and treatment, she says without the help of the Affordable Care Act, she couldn't receive the help she needs and it could be deadly.

"Just my out of pocket expense is very expensive," she said. "The Affordable Care Act puts a limit on it and it's a little over $6,000. That's great," she added.

From Washington, Pitts responded to CBS 21 News regarding the protest outside his Lancaster office: "I hear regularly from constituents who both support and defend Obamacare. As chairman of the Health Subcommittee, I’ve seen that Obamacare is hurting workers and businesses, driving up the cost of insurance, and causing many to lose their current coverage. We can do better than Obamacare, and I firmly believe that a majority in the 16th District support my efforts to repeal the law and replace it with better solutions.”

The rally drew several spectators, including one man who did not favor Obamacare, saying "it's got to go."

Union representatives said they believe the appeals are wasting taxpayer dollars, as well as time that could be spent on other issues in America that need to be addressed.

Pitts will be in Lititz soon to discuss how the Affordable Care Act harshly impacts a local dairy farmer.

Patto says she hopes to meet with him so he can hear how she strongly supports the act, he and his colleagues continue to appeal.

"Go to lunch with me," she would say to Pitts. "I live in your district. Let us talk about it."Hundreds protest Pitts' office in Lancaster over vote against Obamacare


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