Joan and Theodore Davi woke up before dawn, traveling hundreds of miles from their home in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
At the rally, they joined hundreds of other activists, most of whom had traveled similar distances from states up and down the east coast. Many boarding buses chartered by Americans for Prosperity earlier that morning in order to meet with their lawmakers in the nation’s Capital.
“We need to instill in them the idea that they have to come up with what they promised,” said Joan. “To absolutely repeal and replace, not just patch it up.”
Her husband Theodore said his message to his representative would be simple: “Wake up. Period.”
The promise to repeal Obamacare is what drove Americans to overwhelmingly cast their ballots for Obamacare’s opponents in three out of the last four elections. It’s the same thing that drove the Davi’s and hundreds of other activists to the rally – aptly titled ‘You Promised.’
Beth Anne Mumford, AFP’s Pennsylvania Director, pointed out the sacrifice being made by all those who had traveled to the event.
“I know for most of you, this is no place you want to be, because you have things to do back at home, and things to do to make your community better,” she said to the crowd.
“The fact that you have to come here, and tell these people to keep the promises they made when they got elected, is a disappointment in the work they’ve been doing.”
Many who were gathered had lost their insurance and access to their doctors once the law took effect, despite President Obama’s promise they could keep both. This was the case for Dean Peterson, a disabled veteran who made his way up from Virginia because the law has left him uninsured and seeking care for almost two years.
“We voted them in to be bold, to come to D.C. and repeal Obamacare, and that’s exactly what they should do,” he said. “And if they don’t, they better be prepared to do a one-and-done term. Plain and simple.”
Some activists said that Obamacare has greatly limited the care that they can receive. Julie Boonstra, of Michigan, explained how Obamacare had made her fight against leukemia even harder.
“My care turned into what the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the government has decided my care should be,” said Boonstra. “Myself and my doctors were lost in the equation.”
Rochelle Bird, a financial advisor from Kansas, said the uncertainty that Obamacare creates with rapidly rising premiums and deductibles makes it incredibly difficult to help her clients plan for their futures.
“So if you are 50 years old and you are looking at wanting to make sure you’re on track for covering the bases for when you retire one day, it’s like trying to hit an unpredictable moving target every year. It’s a very scary, difficult thing for these people,” she said.
Each person in attendance had their own story of how Obamacare failed them. They were single mothers, veterans, small business owners and cancer survivors. Their unique situations in life were proof that the top-down, bureaucratic approach of Obamacare was doomed to fail from the start.
Today, each of these proud Americans were going to tell their story. And they were not going to let a disastrous health care law decide how it ends.