Affordable Care Act Memorial


Community Protest Will Highlight Human Costs of ACA Repeal

January 28, 2017  -  10:30 - 11:30 am   

Request Submitted for use of Lafayette Cemetery #1 (1400 Washington Ave.)


NEW ORLEANS, LA - One of New Orleans' most beautiful cemeteries will be the location of a press conference Saturday morning, January 28, that will feature testimonies from Louisianans who have received life-saving health care through the ACA.

The Rev. Fred Kammer, SJ, a Jesuit priest and Executive Director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans, will emcee the event. "We priests officiate at many funerals. No death is sadder than an unnecessary one. I fear many will die unnecessary deaths if the ACA is repealed without a carefully thought-through replacement that assures the same breadth and depth of health coverage as the ACA does," said Fr. Kammer.

Republicans have already set in motion a plan to repeal significant portions of President Obama’s healthcare plan first, while delaying passage of a replacement plan - potentially for up to three years. Over half a million Louisianans are expected to lose health insurance coverage if the ACA is repealed.


“In 2009, at the age of 27, I had major surgery while uninsured, with a cost that ran about $25,000,” said Jacquelyn Brubaker, who will speak at the upcoming event. “Not long after, I was diagnosed with Melanoma, while still uninsured. I am still paying off that bill, but through the ACA, I now have insurance for the first time in my adult life.”


4.3 million people across the country are expected to lose health coverage immediately, even if the repeal is delayed, because of uncertainty and disruptions in the health system. Studies predict that those hardest hit by the repeal will be working families with low and moderate incomes.


“My husband is a musician and renovator who has been self-employed his whole life, and has never been able to afford insurance,” said Laurie Devecca, another speaker for Saturday’s event.  “Before the ACA, he relied on the Musician's Clinic and Charity Hospital (LSU after the storm). In Nov 2015 he had a hernia operation that cost $19,000, but thanks to his insurance he only had to pay around $500. He has also needed, and received, multiple spinal injections for degenerative discs. I don't know how he could have had these procedures done without the ACA.”


Amongst the backdrop of one of New Orleans’ oldest cemeteries, the January 28th protest is intended to illustrate for our representatives in Congress the real, human costs to repealing the ACA.


The event is sponsored by the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University, the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, and the Progressive Social Network of Greater New Orleans.