Opponents of Republican health care plan protest downtown Toledo
More than two dozen opponents of new health care legislation gathered downtown Toledo across from the building that houses Senator Rob Portman's (R-OH) northwest Ohio office.
"Public officials aren't being attentive to the needs of the people," said Dennis Slotnick of the Single Payer Action Network of Ohio.
He says the event was organized in an effort to send a message. The group points to four key areas where they say the American Health Care Act fails the American people; they say it does not cover everyone, gives massive tax incentives to the wealthy, leaves millions of people currently covered without health care and would raise the price of high-risk insurance beyond the affordability of many people.
"People need to take back the voice -- find the voice, and take back the voice of governmet," Slotnick said.
Among the speakers at the rally were people who say they personally benefited from Obamacare.
"Spending two full years fighting with doctors, fighting with specialists to get an appropriate diagnosis," said Rev. Mother Maeve Leroux.
She says she was diagnosed with a rare and painful connective tissue disorder.
"Without the Affordable Care Act, there would have been no way for us to even afford one of those specialist visits, let along two years of that."
"We need to have our voices recognized and if they're not being recognized, we need to go to (elected officials') offices, insist that they represent us and if not -- vote them out of office," added Slotnick.
NBC 24 did reach out to the Portman press team for comment -- that request was not fulfilled as of this writing.
A staffer from the Toledo office did make a brief appearance at the rally to meet with organizers.