GOP reps return home to angry constituents in health care town halls


Just five days following the House Republicans getting the votes to start the repeal-and-replace process for the Affordable Care Act, those elected officials who voted yes are returning to their home districts with constituents calling them liars, urging them to do their jobs and suggesting that they even go back to college.

With the House of Representatives in recess this week, House Republicans are beginning to see and hear the fallout firsthand from angry constituents, many of whom are worried about the future of their health care, in heated town halls throughout the country.

Perhaps the most jarring example came Monday in Dubuque, Iowa, where Rep. Ron Blum was met with resounding resistance from a prescreened audience of almost 1,000 people in a high school gym, struggling to explain why he voted for the bill supporting the American Health Care Act. According to the Washington Post and KCRG, Blum, who walked out of a TV interview after refusing to expand on why his staff was prescreening audiences for the four town halls he's holding this week in his district, was peppered with comments like "liar," "do your job," and "go back to college."

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Protests for and against Obamacare

Tea Party Patriots supporters hold signs protesting the Affordable Care Act in front of the Supreme Court as the court hears arguments on the health care reform bill on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Affordable Care Act supporters wave signs outside the Supreme Court after the court upheld court's Obamacare on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A man holds signs during a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today is the second of three days the high court has set aside to hear six hours of arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sister Caroline attends a rally with other supporters of religious freedom to praise the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby, contraception coverage requirement case on June 30, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, which operates a chain of arts-and-craft stores, challenged the provision and the high court ruled 5-4 that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

An Obamacare supporter counter protests a Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the morning hours of March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court continued to hear oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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Affordable Care Act supporters hold up signs outside the Supreme Court as they wait for the court's decision on Obamacare on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ron Kirby holds a sign while marching in protest of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court, which has set aside six hours over three days, will hear arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A protester waves his bible in the air as he overpowered by cheers from supporters of the Affordable Care Act as they celebrate the opinion for health care outside of the Supreme Court in Washington,Thursday June 25, 2015. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Nuns, who are opposed to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and other supporters rally outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, a consolidated case brought by religious groups challenging a process for opting out of the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

(Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters of contraception rally before Zubik v. Burwell, an appeal brought by Christian groups demanding full exemption from the requirement to provide insurance covering contraception under the Affordable Care Act, is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington March 23, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Protestors hold placards challenging 'Obamacare' outside of the US Supreme Court on March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court heard a second challenge to US President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The US Supreme Court faces a momentous case Wednesday on the sweeping health insurance reform law that President Barack Obama wants to leave as part of his legacy. The question before the court is whether the seven million people or more who subscribed via the government's website can obtain tax subsidies that make the coverage affordable. A ruling is expected in June.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 Linda Door (L) protests against President Obama's health care plan in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on March 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court, which has set aside six hours over three days, will hear arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act celebrate after the Supreme Court up held the law in the 6-3 vote at the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, handing a major victory to the president.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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The meeting prohibited holding handwritten signs, but people held up red pieces of paper to show their disapproval, which was often. Blum described the AHCA to KCRG as a touch-up of Obamacare.

"This isn't a repeal and replace," Blum told KCRG. "This is Obamacare 2.0. We've probably changed 10, 20 percent of the bill is all."

His tune, however, was different during the town hall, where he said "Trumpcare" several times, according to the Washington Post.

In Plattsburgh, New York, Rep. Elise Stefanik, another last-minute yes voter of the AHCA, also faced the backlash from her constituents. According to NPR, around 250 protesters chanting "Shame. Shame. Shame" and carrying a fake coffin with a list of pre-existing conditions outside her town hall on Monday.

The demonstrations in Iowa and New York are expected to be just a taste of what the rest of their House Republican colleagues who voted yes may face in town hall meetings for the rest of the week. While some are opting out, others, such as New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur, will hold what may be one of the more contentious town hall meetings on Wednesday in Willingboro, New Jersey, a longtime Democratic stronghold.

The post GOP Reps Return Home To Angry Health Care Town Halls appeared first on Vocativ.

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