Chelsea IrizarryAug 7, 2018, 8:28 pmAug 8, 2018, 5:15 pm

Grechen Shirley leads rally for universal healthcare outside Peter King’s office

The Republican representative says ‘free is never free’ when it comes to Medicare for All

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MASSAPEQUA PARK — Activists rallied outside Republican Peter King's office Tuesday, demanding universal healthcare alongside congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley, who is trying to unseat King this November.

Ady Barkan, an activist with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), was one of dozens who protested in Massapequa. His goal is to put a human face on legislation that would impact healthcare from those suffering from diseases.

“People like Peter King want to take protections away from us," says Barkan. "We have better things to do with our time than worry about who is going to make the health bills and where we are going to get the money to see a doctor."

Grechen Shirley says Republicans are stripping tens of thousands of Americans of their health insurance.

“Healthcare is a basic human right and we fight for human rights,” she said.

The Democrat is a vocal proponent of Medicare for All.

“Do we value American lives or do we value profits for insurance companies and their executives?” says Grechen Shirley.

Congressman King, who has held his seat since 1993, says he does not believe in socializing healthcare.

“Keep the system, but work within it to make improvements where it's needed, like people who have pre-existing conditions, people who have serious illnesses, people who just can't afford healthcare,” says King.

He says “free is never free” and medicine would end up being paid for by the people. Additionally, King says he is leading the fight in Congress for ALS sufferers and victims.

“I am the lead Republican in the House of Representatives with ALS. I am the lead Republican in the House of Representatives with legislation, with increase research funding,” King asserts.

Grechen Shirley and King are set to square off in their first debate this September.

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