Rally in Reading to save Obamacare; others say it has to go


People were speaking as one, in hopes of saving the health care law known as the Affordable Care Act. People took to the streets of downtown Reading to spread their message one week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order weakening the act.

"It's extending coverage to as many people as possible," said Bill Thomas from West Reading.

Thomas is asking Republican leaders in Washington to reconsider. In 2008, he had a heart attack that came with a bill of $66,000. When he became self-employed three years later, he said insurance companies wouldn't accept him, and the Affordable Care Act saved him.

"I require ongoing care, and it gave me access that I otherwise would not have had," said Thomas.

But not everyone is marching for it.

Angela Chickilly is a health insurance broker. She said the Affordable Care Act raised the premiums on a pair of her lo​ngtime clients to an extreme level.

"This year was the first year we cried on the phone," said Chickilly, "because they said to me we can only cover the kids at this time. We can't afford to pay for ourselves, and they have been doing the right thing for 10 to 15 years.

"It messed with so many people who actually did have insurance," said Chickilly.

Chickilly said she doesn't doubt the Affordable Care Act has done a lot of good, but she thinks there's a better solution.

"If you really know the facts, they're not out to hurt anybody," said Chickilly.

Even supporters said the law could be improved, but they said they hope the rug doesn't get pulled from under them'Y

"We're out here to say, 'You know, think about this for a minute,'" said Carol Kutscher, who attended the rally.