Medical workers gather outside John McCain's office to urge him to keep the Affordable Care Act

Posted at 7:36 PM, Feb 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-25 21:36:49-05

About 150 people, many employed in the healthcare sector, gathered outside U.S. Senator John McCain's office to show their support for the Affordable Care Act and urge Arizona's senior congressman to resist attempts to dismantle the law signed by former President Barack Obama.

"We feel the ACA is one of the most important pieces of healthcare legislation of all time," said Dr. Qunn Snyder, an emergency room physician."

"I have children who need healthcare, my neighbors will need healthcare. All Americans need healthcare," said Patricia Cox, whose sister is battling cancer.

If the GOP succeeds in wiping the Affordable Care Act, "then she'll die because she can't afford that weekly chemo," Cox said.

During the 2016 campaign, Republican candidates from President Donald Trump on down the ballot pledged to "repeal and replace" the so-called Obamacare plan, citing skyrocketing premiums and insurers leaving the health insurance marketplace it established as evidence the law didn't work.

Arizona was at the top of the list of states feeling the pain of those problems, with premiums expected to increase by 116% for this year and Pinal County earning the distinction of having no insurers willing to sell marketplace plans to its residents.

Tens of millions stand to lose coverage should the Affordable Care Act go away, with several in attendance worried their coverage will be gone for good.

"We need to rise up or we'll be sitting around with no healthcare, without the things we need to keep," Jim Odenkirk said.

An email seeking comment from Senator McCain's office about his position on the efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act was not returned Saturday afternoon.