CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Dozens of people concerned about the future of health care gathered at Willard Park in Cleveland on Saturday. Many were upset with U.S. Senator Rob Portman's, (R-OH), vote in support of the "Skinny Repeal" bill that eventually failed to pass in the U.S. Senate.
"Health care needs to in one of the wealthiest countries in the world needs to be a fundamental human right and not a privilege for the few privileged," said Judi Holowatyj of Medina.
Holowatyj was most upset over the GOP's attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.
"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Planned Parenthood," Holowatyj said.
30 years ago, she faced a health crisis and didn't have insurance.
"My husband and I were the working poor. I did what most of us do when we don't have health insurance, I ignored it," Holowatyj said.
Exams at a Planned Parenthood spotted trouble which eventually led to a uterine cancer diagnoses and hysterectomy. Holowatyj said millions of people depend on services provided by Planned Parenthood service.
"I have three grown children, and I have six grandchildren that would not see me, and I would not see them," Holowatyj said. "So, I'm very thankful for Planned Parenthood and it needs to continue."
Kathy Rinehart is a nurse who lives in Euclid. She said Sen. Portman's office almost daily during the health care debate.
"I stand with the poor," Rinehart said.
"Senator John McCain, (R-OH), said it right," Rinehard said. "Everyone needs to come to the table and review health care and what can make it best for all constituents. Not just the rich. Not just the middle class, but everyone including the poor."
Sen. Portman went to Twitter after lawmakers failed to pass health care legislation. He wrote, "We should not throw in the towel. Doing nothing would leave tens of thousands of Ohioans stranded w/o health insurance & everyone w/ > costs."
Dancers wearing hand-written signs showcasing different preexisting conditions covered under the Affordable Care Act performed at the rally. They argue health care is a human right.
Holowatyj is hopeful lawmakers can get it right.
"You can't put a price on people's lives. You just can't," she said.