At GOP Town Halls, Constituents Express Rage Over Plans to Nix Obamacare

Republicans faced angry crowds who questioned their elected officials about the future of the ACA

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Story Transcript

CROWD: …(chanting)…

WOMAN: I need assurance. I need assurance that that’s not going to happen.

INTER: Angry town halls have begun popping up across the USA since the Senate Republicans won a 51 to 48 vote, to repeal the Affordable Care Act on January 12th, 2017.

CROWD: (shouting)…

WOMAN: … the state of Louisiana…

CROWD: (applause)…

WOMAN: I could tell you, three members of my family, including me, that would be dead –- dead! and homeless, if it was not for ACA.

CROWD: (cheering)…

WOMAN: …I’m an angry constituent. You work for us!

CROWD: (cheering)

SEN. TOM COTTON: So, that’s why… that’s… that’s one reason why so many people come to the United States to get healthcare, because our healthcare system is the best in the world.

CROWD: (booing)…

MAN: So, my question is, if we’re so concerned about the deficit, why are we building a wall that costs 20 billion dollars?

CROWD: (cheering)…

SEN. TOM COTTON: Not every dollar of government spending is an equal dollar. It might not surprise you to know, you don’t get a full dollar’s worth of value for a lot of the money spent in Washington. The most important thing… the most important thing is security and safety.

WOMAN: Bullshit!

SEN. TOM COTTON: That’s… that’s why…

CROWD: (booing)…

INTER: Also known as Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act has greatly expanded access to healthcare coverage for as many as 24 million people in 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That same office estimates that over the next decade, the program would have cost $1.34 trillion, a figure routinely used by the GOP to campaign against the Affordable Care Act.

However, this projection is still lower than the estimated $1.5 trillion that the Department of Defense will spend on the F35 fighter jet program, or the reported $2 trillion spent on the Iraq War.

Lately, serious questions have been raised over the priorities of the Republican Party. Especially as it voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and to this day has no clear plan to replace it, despite Paul Ryan’s plan, which seemed to raise more questions than answers.

PAUL RYAN: It is about people’s lives. This affects every person in every family in America.

INTER: Now Congressional Republicans are left facing many questions from constituents, like Mike Coffman, who on January 16th, had to sneak out of an angry town hall in Aurora, Colorado.

WOMAN: Make sure you hear all your constituents.

WOMAN: …still wanted to speak to you.

INTER: At a town hall in Utah, hosted by the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Jason Chaffetz, people shouted, “Do your job!”, while demanding Trump’s tax returns be investigated.

CROWD: …Do your job! Do your job! Do your job! Do your job! Do your job!…

INTER: Politico reported that GOP congress members held a meeting to discuss measures to protect themselves from angry constituents.

CONGRESSMAN ROSS: It’s not all a one-size-fits-all government solution. You ought to know better than that.

WOMAN: I’m gainfully employed. I’m a mother of four. And no one has paid me to be here tonight.

CROWD: (laughs)…

WOMAN: … take time off of work so that I can attend this meeting. I ask you, Congressman Ross, what are you doing for… to protect the citizens of the United States, especially the constituents of the 15th District, from the outrageous expenditure of taxpayer money, money spent all so that the President can enjoy, what he has called, “The Southern White House,” every weekend since taking office, at our expense?

CROWD: (cheering)…

CONGRESSMAN ROSS: I agree with you that we don’t need to have unnecessarily out there spending for things that we shouldn’t be spending for. But I tell you what, what I’d like to do, is make sure we follow up with you, because I’d like to… you’re the first one that’s brought this to my attention. I’d like to compare…

CROWD: (yelling, booing)…

CONGRESSMAN ROSS: The guy’s been in there four weeks. He has yet to go to Hawaii. He has yet to play golf every week… I will compare what we did in previous administrations to this one, and I will get back with you, okay?

INTER: In Roseville, California, Tom McClintock had to be escorted off stage by the police.

CROWD: (yelling)…

INTER: Other senators, like Marco Rubio from Florida, Cory Gardner and Ken Calvert from Colorado, simply aren’t showing up anymore because they fear the blowback.

MITCH McCONNELL: Is there anybody out there has a question? Anybody out front who may be actually interested in what I had to say? Yeah…

WOMAN: These coal jobs are not coming back, and now these people don’t have the insurance they need ’cause they’re poor! And they worked those coalmines, and they’re sick! The veterans are sick, the veterans are broken down, they’re not getting what they need. If you can answer any of that, I’ll sit down and shut up like Elizabeth Warren.

MITCH McCONNELL: I like what the President’s doing. I think the President would serve himself better by not having as many controversies surrounding his statements, because it tends to take us off-message.

PAT HEALEY: My name is Pat Healey, and I’m definitely one of your constituents. But I am 77 years old, and I think it’s unconscionable for this politician to tell me that at 74, I will be facing …

CROWD: (laughter, applause)…

WOMAN: Can you look at my little girl, look her in the eye, and tell her that we’re not … that we’re not valued in the State of Arkansas, or in this country?

MAN: … York…

CROWD: (cheering)…

INTER: President Donald Trump took to Twitter, to dismiss these angry constituents, tweeting, “The so-called, angry crows in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad.”

On February 23rd, New Jersey Republican representative Leonard Lance, said, “I always try to speak truthfully. I believe, for example, that those at my town hall meeting last night were not paid. And if the White House believes that many of those at town hall meetings have been paid, I think that is an inaccurate statement. I do believe that most of those at my town hall meeting last night, were there based upon being constituents in the district, and I was pleased to be able to interact with them.”

WOMAN: First, shout out’s to my Dreamerers, ’cause they’re my heart.

CROWD: (cheering)…

WOMAN: And my question deals with education. In your face, because supporting Betsy DeVos, you say…

CROWD: (booing)…

INTER: To see more of our coverage, visit Therealnews.com.

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