Supporters of Obamacare staged rallies across the country on Thursday denouncing efforts by President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders to repeal the landmark law that has extended medical insurance coverage to some 20 million Americans.
Hundreds of demonstrators turned out in Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles marking the seventh anniversary of enactment of Obamacare, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has become widely known.
Many talked about a very personal stake in the outcome of the healthcare debate roiling Capitol Hill.
"I feel sick today, but I came here because I'm terrified," said Steve Martin, 27, an unemployed Los Angeles resident who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. "The legislators have the best health care in the world, and we deserve the same."
The ACA, considered former Democratic President Barack Obama's premiere domestic achievement, has drawn unrelenting scorn from Republicans, with promises to repeal and replace it a centerpiece of Trump's presidential campaign.
Thursday's rallies coincided with planned action in the House of Representatives on a Republican-backed bill to begin dismantling Obamacare, but the vote was indefinitely postponed as Republican leaders and the White House scrambled to muster enough votes for passage.