- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The left-leaning group Alliance for a Better Utah said Wednesday that hundreds of Utah residents do not want congress to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The organization presented its report and several residents spoke at a press conference, sharing stories about how the repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act would impact them.

Utah resident Terry Mitchell said that she has complex PTSD because of sexual assault and witnessing two murders. She is a self-employed real estate broker, who has been able to afford treatment for her preexisting conditions because of the health law.

“But while I am grateful,” she said. “I am fearful of things going back to the way they were.”

The group plans to deliver copies of the report to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and other state leaders later Wednesday.

Chase Thomas, of Alliance for a Better Utah, said the Affordable Care Act certainly has its problems, such as premium deductibles that are too high, but that doesn’t mean it should be thrown out.

“Ultimately, we believe this report shows, the Affordable Care Act should be simply repaired, rather than repealed and replaced,” he said.

Thomas said some of the parts of the health care law that Utah residents said they want to see continue include protections for pre-existing conditions, free preventative care and women’s health and contraceptive coverage.

Hannah Mullins said in the report that she has Fibromyalgia and PTSD, and the health care law has allowed her to afford treatment costs.

Last month, the Republican governor cautioned that if Congress repeals the health law without having a replacement plan ready, it could jeopardize coverage for about 180,000 Utah residents.

Herbert, who was not a supporter of the law, wrote in a letter to U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of California that he understands a replacement could take years to plan and implement, but “Utah’s citizens cannot wait for such a lengthy process.”

At the close of 2016, about 186,000 Utah residents had signed up for insurance through healthcare.gov, a signature feature of the law, and over the past six years, Utah’s uninsured rate dropped to 10.5 percent, down from 14 percent, Herbert wrote.

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