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South Bend mayor, local advocates denounce Trump healthcare proposal

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- President Donald Trump is planning to strike through a major component of Obamacare and local leaders are speaking out.

The President sent out the following tweet late Thursday night:

"This is in my view a terrible decision," said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. "It is effectively taking money out of the pockets of working Americans a lot of people right here in South Bend.”

Currently, the subsidies have required a monthly payment approved by Trump, which until now have gone forward. 

Supporters of the proposed plan said the executive order could provide more affordable options for healthy people and that the subsidies, put in place by the Obama administration, are an insurance industry bailouts. 

While critics have said the move will increase costs for sicker people who need more coverage. 

"This effectively cuts them off," Mayor Buttigieg said. "These exchanges remain a valuable resource for a lot of people."

At South Bend's Indiana Health Center, that serves many low-income families, an office manager said the board of directors will be looking into some plans to figure out what's next for patients that might become uninsured because of the President's announcement.

"It's clear that potentially it could be catastrophic for low-income families many of whom were able to purchase health insurance for their families under the affordable care act,” said Nicole MacLaughlin, a representative of Northern Indiana Community Coalition on Healthcare.

The coalition monitors federal, state, and local actions regarding health care. It also educates the community and advocates for residents in Indiana's 2nd Congressional District.

"We believe our congressional representative Jackie Walorski, here in this congressional district and our senators in the state they need to stand up for Indiana,” said MacLauglin.

The Office of U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski sent the following statement:

        "The Obama administration ignored the Constitution when it spent billions of taxpayer dollars without authorization from Congress –               just one of Obamacare’s fundamental flaws that have left too many Hoosiers without access to quality, affordable health care – and now the Trump administration has restored the proper separation of powers. I remain eager to work with my colleagues and the administration to replace this failing system with patient-centered solutions that lower costs, increase choices, and provide real protections.”    

MacLaughlin said in no way could the President's action be interpreted as anything but catastrophic for working families. Mayor Buttigieg echoes this message and said now is the time to let people know of their options. 

“What we can’t do at the city level is make up for massive amounts of funding being cut off from families by the White House," he said. "The only way to change that is to have a change to who's in there or a change in how Congress handles this issue to make sure it’s secure no matter who the president is.”

The mayor said he encourages people to enroll in a health insurance plan during the open enrollment period, which starts on November 1 until December 15. Click here for more information. 

“There are a lot of families here who really rely on the affordable care act in order to get health insurance in order to stay healthy,” said Mayor Buttigieg. “And our community’s going to be worse off if it gets undermined.”


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