A bus tour slamming Republican’s health care positions pulled into Orlando Monday afternoon to hype up a crowd gathered in Lake Eola Park in opposition to the GOP’s efforts to strip pre-existing coverage protections from the Affordable Care Act.

According to advocacy group Protect Our Care, Monday’s event “highlighted Republicans’ attacks on the health care Floridians depend on, including the 7.8 million Floridians across the state with pre-existing conditions.”

When it rolled into Orlando, the “Care Force One” bus tour brought in local reinforcements by way of Democratic Rep. Amy Mercado and Anna Eskamani, the Democrat who hopes to replace exiting state Rep. Mike Miller in Orange County’s House District 47.

“I don’t trust the fact that the GOP keeps telling us that we can trust them,” Mercado said. “I believe you judge people by their actions. Governor Rick Scott and Republicans in the Legislature have consistently fought to take away our healthcare.”

Eskamani reiterated the attacks on the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature and Scott, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for his seat in the general election, saying neither are working with Democrats to deliver cost savings to Floridians.

“Instead, Republicans are ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions, driving up costs and cutting coverage. This all-out assault on health care is hurting families in Florida,” she said. “I hear it every day, whether in Orlando and across Central Florida: Floridians are sick and tired of fighting to protect our care, and they’re ready for representation that will expand access to healthcare––not destroy it.”

Also in tow were local leaders including community activist Sarah Wissig, physician Karen Green and national health care activist Laura Packard, who has been traveling aboard “Care Force One.”

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” Packard said. “I’m a stage-four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

Orlando was the second of five Florida stops for the “Care Force One” bus tour, an 11,000-plus mile journey with 49 stops across 24 stats. The tour will visit Sarasota and Miami on next on Wednesday, followed by a stop in St. Lucie on Thursday and its terminus in West Palm on Friday.

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