Wearing white coats and surgical scrubs, a small group of political activists passed out pink fliers in downtown Oakland Wednesday. They wore toy stethoscopes and shiny, circular mirrors on their heads.
They're not really doctors, but they dressed the part to grab the attention of pedestrians and warn them about the political efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Since 2014, that law has provided five million previously uninsured Californians with coverage. The state's uninsured rate is now at a historical low of 7 percent.
House Representatives, riven by political differences, have delayed a planned vote on the Republican health care bill until Friday. Their bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), has pushed these Bay Area activists to get creative, and this "Pop-Up Emergency Room" on the sidewalk is one way of highlighting the fact that the bill would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million.