FLINT (WWJ) — Following passage of a Republican-backed healthcare bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, an activist from Flint has driven to Washington D.C. to fight the bill on its way to the Senate.
Melissa Mays, founder of Water You Fighting For, hopes to persuade Republican Senators who are on the fence about the House bill to vote against it.
“My kids are covered by the Medicaid expansion for the Flint Water Crisis and without that coverage my kids cannot see their rheumatologist next month, they can’t see the neurologist, they can’t get any of the physical therapy that they need — any of the things to help my kids live somewhat of a normal life,” Mays said.
Mays brought pictures of her kids, family and friends to help tell the story of what the people of Flint are currently up against.
Many residents in Flint — and around the country — could be severely affected by the proposed rollback of pre-existing condition coverage under the Republican plan.
“Today is 1,106 days since we’ve had clean water and we don’t need to suffer anymore,” Mays said.
Flint’s water was just recently deemed drinkable again after it became contaminated when the city switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River as a cost-cutting move in 2014. The corrosive water lacked adequate treatment and caused lead to leach from old pipes, which the city hope to finish replacing by 2019.
From May of 2015 through October of 2015, 42 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in Genesee County, resulting in 13 deaths. However, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a report saying it cannot conclude that the increase in cases is related to the Flint Water Crisis nor can the department rule out an association at this point.