WNPR

Yale Medical Students Stand Up For Obamacare

Jan 31, 2017

Yale medical students, doctors, and other health care providers demonstrated in New Haven to express their outrage over the Donald Trump administration’s move to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

A group of roughly 100 turned out to demonstrate in front of Yale’s Sterling Hall of Medicine -- some in their white doctor’s coats carrying signs that read “protect our patients,” and “do no harm.”

Medical student Matt Meizlish said they want to give a voice to the 30-million people who stand to lose health insurance under the ACA.

"Tens of thousands of people are likely to die if the ACA is repealed and we think that it’s kind of our role to speak up for that and to give voice to that," he said. "Our responsibility and our role is to make sure that we don’t just prescribe the right medicines, but that we advocate for the right laws."

The protest was part of a nationwide day of action involving medical school campuses around the country.

Dr. Andrea Asnes, director of the pediatric residency program at Yale, said that while the ACA is far from ideal, it’s helped thousands of people gain access to medical insurance. As a doctor, Asnes sees plenty of room to address issues like health care costs.

"Physicians and other health care providers don’t think medical care is perfect in this country," Asnes said. "I think that’s something that maybe is implied by our support of what stands. But it is not the case. We see endless opportunity for a reform and improvement in our system of care -- our systems of care."

Yale medical students rally for the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Lori Mack / WNPR

But Asnes feels simply repealing the Affordable Care Act is not an answer. She and other protesters are pushing for improvement rather than an all-out repeal.

Residents have until midnight Tuesday, January 31, to enroll for health insurance through Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance marketplace.

Confusion about the future of the Affordable Care Act has officials concerned that some people won’t sign up.