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'Zombie brides' voice opposition to proposed healthcare bill

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Columbia, S.C. (WACH) -- On the same day South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham took his views on healthcare to CNN's Town Hall, a Midlands group took an unconventional approach to opposing it.

"This bill has been coming up and down on the floor over and over again all year," said Julie Edwards, with Indivisible Midlands. "Every time we think it's dead, it's resurrected by another politician looking to score a win. We're looking to beat it back again."

It was for that reason Edwards and other protesters gathered outside of Senator Graham's office Monday afternoon dressed as zombies brides...complete with ghoulish makeup, wedding dresses, and signs with marriage proposals.

"We asked Senator Scott and Senator Graham, who are both bachelors, to marry us so that we could have their healthcare if they were going to take away ours."

Senator Graham, along with Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, proposed a new healthcare plan that could potentially replace the Affordable Care Act.

One significant changes the bill presents is that states could have the ability to apply for waivers, giving each respective state the ability to determine how much can be charged for patients' preexisting conditions.

"If those waivers are granted by the federal government --and people with preexisting condition have to be covered-- the state could decide it'd be a higher cost to a person with such conditions, " said Rosalynn Goodwin with the South Carolina Hospital Association.

Goodwin says there are three major concerns her organization has with the proposed bill, including not know what impact the bill will have for at least a few weeks, uncertainty of funding after the year 2026, and medicaid block grants.

The grants would how money is allocated to states, making the amounts a lump sum based on a state's poverty levels and other healthcare factors.

"We are thankful that [Graham] worked very diligently to improve the equity between states that expanded the medicaid program under the ACA as opposed to state that did not expand, like South Carolina. So, the bill does a good job at ironing out the disparities between those states that expanded and those that did not.

As for local zombie brides, they say they will continue to speak out against the bill until it is finally laid to rest.

"By allowing states to get a waiver to charge those with preexisting conditions more, it's going to undermine protections for a lot of different people," said Edwards.

The deadline for the senate to make a decision on the bill is September 30th.



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