Coalition marches in Naples MLK Day parade to rally for Obamacare

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 19:34:57-05

As the nation honored Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday, a new coalition marched in the Naples MLK Day parade with a message opposed to repealing Obamacare.

While high school marching bands and waving politicians marched down Fifth Avenue South, they were joined this year by members of the Southwest Florida Resistance Coalition, who carried signs with such sayings as "Join us to save health care" and "Donald Trump: Don't repeal everyone's health care." 

"Martin Luther King said some really important things, and one of them was about injustice in health care being one of the worst and most inhumane aspects of injustice," said Suzanne Cherney, one of the SWFL Resistance Coalition's founders.

Cherney said her group is new, and was making its debut at the MLK parade with the rally of public support for President Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care Act, which President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to repeal.

But Scott Lepore of the Collier County Republican Club believes Obamacare has been a disaster for many working-class Americans.

"Do we have problems that we need to correct immediately with health care in the United States?" Lepore asked. "Yes. But causing a bunch of people to lose their insurance, and pay double or triple premiums, is not the solution to the problem."

Cherney said that before Obamacare, many Americans were footing the bill people without insurance getting treated for minor ailments in emergency rooms.

"So why should some people be free-riders?" Cherney said. "It made more sense that everybody should be in the insurance pool, and then we're all covered."

"Paul Ryan has said that he will put forth a plan, and I want to see that plan," Lepore said. 

Trump told the Washington Post that his proposal for replacing Obamacare includes "insurance for everybody." Trump promised that his plan will be "much less expensive and much better," but he declined to give any specifics.