TrumpCare Sparks Local Protests
May 5, 2017
Protests erupted around the country at offices of Republican Congressmembers as TrumpCare passed the House.
The bill would strip 24 million of their health care, gut protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, and raise premiums for older Americans all so Republicans can give another massive tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.
Here's how it's playing with their constituents:
Peter Roskam, IL-6
REPORTER: “Protesters gathered outside a Republican fundraiser in Wheaton vowing the GOP will pay dearly for the way its members voted today.”
JAX WEST: “We did not elect you to get rid of the ACA. There are problems with it, sure. Fix it.”
REPORTER: “Many here because they have family members with pre-existing medical additions and they say there are fearful now.”
PROTESTER: “Oh my god, I am so upset. This is so personal. My entire family have pre-existing conditions.”
PROTESTER: “My brother has a pre-existing condition of cancer, and my brother is a constituent of Peter Roskam, and Peter Roskam today voted to let my brother die.”
Fred Upton, MI-6
Fred Upton’s flip flopping and ultimate support of Trumpcare has significantly angered his constituents causing protests outside his office.
Martha Faketty of Kalamazoo stated, “It’s going to cost lives,” in reference to Trumpcare.
Jessica Martin felt betrayed by Upton’s vote, “He’s falsely representing the 6th district.”
Sean Duffy, WI-7
Joyce Luedke was at the protest and described the bill as unfair, immoral and unchristian.
“I told Congressman Duffy we the taxpayers cover his family of 10 with quality health insurance. Has he ever acknowledged our contribution to him and his family,” asked Luedke.
Joel Lewis, the organizer of Thursdays protest, said that although Obamacare is not perfect it's better than limiting access by making it unaffordable for Americans, especially those with pre-existing conditions.
“295,000 members of his district will be affected because that's the amount of people that have pre-existing conditions. So we are concerned that people will be discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions and that it will be harder for working Americans to get health care,” said Lewis.
Rodney Frelinghuysen, NJ-11
Montville resident Sarah Foye’s son has a disability, something that she said could reduce his coverage options and subject him to discrimination under the GOP healthcare bill, known as the American Health Care Act.
“He’s called a representative and I’d actually like him to represent us,” stated Foye in response to Frelinghuysen’s vote.
Steve Knight, CA-25
“As President Donald Trump and House Republicans in Washington D.C. celebrated the passage of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, some Southern Californians gathered outside one of those GOP members’ offices in Santa Clarita in a different mood.”
“We are devastated at the vote that (Steve Knight) took today to take away the rights of those that have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” said Celinda Vazquez, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
Vasquez said a provision in the bill would defund Planned Parenthood, blocking patients from receiving a variety of medical services from Planned Parenthood facilities.
Darrell Issa, CA-49
REPORTER: “Blanco says for her family this is life and death. Her husband suffers from diabetes. Her grandson has autism, and she is battling a rare form of melanoma, pigment producing cells in her membranes have turned cancerous. She currently receiving immunotherapy treatment.”
BLANCO: “It is $30,000 a dose, and I have to have a minimum, a minimum, of 15 doses.”
REPORTER: “A preexisting condition this bill, she says, wouldn't cover. And a bill that passed the House that wouldn't require insurers to charge the same rates as they do for the healthy.”
Mike Gallagher, WI-8
Protesters gathered outside of Congressman Mike Gallagher's office in Appleton Thursday in response to the health care vote in congress.
Daniel Dillon of Marion, suffers from a chronic back injury says he's concerned about the lack of information he's received about a new bill.
“It’s not fair to the American public to be doing this,” said Dillon. “We need health care reform. The Affordable Health Care Act is not perfect by any means but it does cover people like myself that otherwise could not get insurance.”
Tom Nelson of Outagamie County was also at the protest.
“You're talking with everything from special education students, people with pre-existing conditions,” said Nelson. “You know just here in North East Wisconsin about 300,000 people have pre-existing conditions. What’s going to happen to them?”
Steve Stivers, OH-15
Ohioans protested Rep. Steve Stivers’ vote on Trumpcare outside his office in Hilliard.
Kay Barker, a small business owner who who buys her family's insurance through an exchange set up by the Affordable Care Act expressed frustration. “The problem is I have no idea what this will do to my insurance,” said Barker. “No one has any idea what this is going to do. I do know the ACA has helped us immeasurably and it is affordable.“
Steve Wagner of the non-partisan healthcare advocacy group UHCAN Ohio expressed deep concern on Trump care’s effects on those with pre-existing conditions.
“Unfortunately what this did was take it from bad to worse or from worse to worst,” said Wagner. “There is just not the funding that's there that would make this affordable for most people that have pre-existing conditions.”
Speaker Paul Ryan, WI-1
“Healthcare for all. We shall not be moved.” These were the chants of protesters outside Speaker Paul Ryan's office. The group of protesters didn't budge on their hopes even after hearing the vote to repeal and replace Obamacare had passed the House of Representatives.
Nikki Aiello was protesting for her nephew, who she says is one of those 24 million people that will lose insurance. She says he was born with a pre-existing condition.
“I don't know how Paul Ryan can claim to be supportive of life when he's doing something like this that will deprive people of healthcare and will cost people their lives,” stated Aiello.
Billy Long, MO-7
Missourians who are worried about the future of their health care were protesting the Trumpcare vote outside of Congressman Billy Long's office in Springfield.
“We were finally in a place where we didn't have to worry about being priced out of insurance,” said Crystal Brigman Mahaney with Missouri Health Care for All.
“It's going to make it very difficult to have access to care for many people in our nation,” said Rev. Phil Snider, a senior minister at Brentwood Christian Church, who joined protesters outside Long's office.
Scott Taylor, VA-2
Protesters gathered at Town Center Thursday evening to hold a candlelight vigil after the House of Representatives, including Rep. Scott Taylor, voted to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare.
Erin Edlow of Virginia Beach, viewed the bill and the ACHA plan as a “travesty.”
“I am one of the 400,000 Virginians that does not have healthcare insurance because Virginia was a state that opted out of expanding Medicaid in this state,” she said. “This new plan that is going further than non-expansion in 2020 is definitely going to affect me because it’s not even going to be an option after 2020.”
Erik Paulsen, MN-3
Protests are planned Friday afternoon outside the Twin Cities-area offices of U.S. Reps. Erik Paulsen and Jason Lewis as some Minnesotans respond angrily to their votes a day earlier in favor of the Republican measure repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
The noon protest outside Paulsen’s Eden Prairie office is organized by the Third Congressional District chapter of Indivisible, a protest group that’s sprung up in recent months in response to the agenda of President Trump and Republicans in Congress. The group has organized a number of protest events aimed at Paulsen in recent weeks.
Mark Meadows, NC-11
People unhappy with the House Republicans' health care reform bill staged a die-in at a local congressman's office Thursday.
Several North Carolina branches of the NAACP gathered outside the Hendersonville office of Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC.
“A woman with breast cancer, the Kaiser Foundation is estimating it's going to cost $44,000 for her to get into that high risk pool that Congressman Meadows and his Freedom Caucus friends have created,” Kathleen Barnes, of the Transylvania County NAACP, said.
Mia Love, UT-4
Utah's all-Republican House delegation voted Thursday in favor of a health care overhaul that could impact people with pre-existing conditions, triggering serious worries from people who fit that category.
Salt Lake City resident Emilee Sharp said she is considering rushing a major spinal surgery in case she loses her insurance even though her doctor warned it's risky.
“It's horrible to think that 'oh my insurance may be taken away and now I have to enter into surgery that is extremely risky; it could go wrong,” said Sharp.
Murray resident Jake Martinez, 32, said he's worried about getting health insurance in the future since he has epilepsy, considered a pre-existing condition by insurers. “Today, it really kind of sunk in that not only are we not going to potentially have health care coverage, but that it was done as a political win rather than a well-thought out plan,” said Jake Martinez, a former chef who is studying social work. “That's what stings about it.”
Mark Amodei, NV-2
“This bill is inhumane, and a means by which to increase the profits of the health insurance industry,” said Amy Vilela, healthcare advocate. Vilela's 22-year-old daughter died of a pulmonary embolism due to a blood clot. “I am the mother of a child who died because she couldn't provide proof of insurance,” Vilela said. She says the hospital turned her daughter away, due to a lack of insurance. Vilela said Trump care will do little to change that.