Town halls reveal a country concerned about education, healthcare and an aloof Trump administration.
For Democrats to yell ‘I told you so!’ would be far too modest after a weekend filled with angry constituents voicing their concerns to Republican members of Congress in town hall meetings.
As shown by several broadcast networks and social media, people all over the country flooded into usually sparse public forums to ask about the status of healthcare, education and immigration in the United States. From Salt Lake City to New Port Richey, Florida, fiery speeches, chanting and tearful questions revealed a concerned country.
“It’s from my understanding the ACA (Affordable Healthcare) mandate requires everyone to have insurance, because the healthy people pull up the sick people,” Jessi Bohon, a 35-year-old high school teacher from Cookeville, Tennessee, noted to Republican Rep. Diane Black.
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“As a Christian, my whole philosophy in life is pull up the unfortunate. So the individual mandate: that’s what it does. The healthy people pull up the sick. If we take those people and put them in high risk insurance pools, they’re costlier and there’s less coverage for them. That’s the way it’s been in the past and that’s the way it will be again,” she added, before asking the all-important question, “We are effectively punishing our sickest people. And I wanna know why not, instead of fix what’s wrong with Obamacare… why don’t we expand Medicaid and have everybody have insurance?”
Across the country in Salt Lake City, the highly conservative Rep. Jason Chaffetz was booed and chastised by his community for flip-flopping on Trump, wanting to defund Planned Parenthood and his plan to eliminate the Department of Education.
It should be noted that Chaffetz spent months investigating Clinton’s emails, but did not think it was necessary to look into Trump’s tax returns. “You’re really not going to like this part: The President, under the law, is exempt from the conflict of interest laws,” he told the audience.
But despite the pushback and crowd chanting, “Do your job,” Chaffetz (like so many other leaders) is unbothered.
“It doesn’t faze me,” the Mormon told The Washington Post. “It’s a very, very small minority. It’s a very vocal, very frustrated, scorched-earth mentality that’s not representative of the average person, certainly not in Utah. It might be in San Francisco or Seattle but not here. Not in middle America.”
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