Congress voted this week to chip away at the Affordable Care Act with a plan that garnered no Democratic votes and will likely see significant changes in the Senate.
Pennsylvania’s GOP delegation was split on the bill with nine for it and nine against. Four of the “no” votes were cast by Republicans, making Pennsylvania the state with the most conservative opponents to the measure.
Now, constituents opposed to the American Health Care Act are making their displeasure known to those nine congressmen who voted for it.
Republican Scott Perry represents Pennsylvania’s 4th District in the commonwealth’s south central region. The day after the health care vote, a crowd gathered outside his Cumberland County office.
Protester Mary Rosenkrans said Perry’s support of the plan is disingenuous, adding that she’d hoped his comments at a March town hall indicated he’d take a different position.
“He said he would listen to his constituents,” she said. “I don’t think he’s listening. That’s why we’re here.”
While demonstrators chanted “shame on you” out front, Perry spoke with several health care advocates inside.
Stephanie Gray, a health actuary, said they agreed on some basic points — for instance, that health care costs are too high.But she said tension arose on women’s care, which would be affected by the GOP plan.
“Conservatives often say, you know, I’m a man, I’m done having kids, I don’t need contraceptives, and I don’t want to pay for them,” she said.
She also said there’s some disagreement about what the plan would actually do.
Perry “believes that people are going to continue to have coverage under the American Health Care Act, when the CBO has stated that 24 million people are going to lose their coverage,” she said.
The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the GOP’s previous version of the AHCA, which failed in March. The new passed with changes, but without an updated analysis.
Perry’s office didn’t comment on the meeting.
In a statement, he said he believes the House plan appropriately covers Pennsylvanians, including those with pre-existing conditions.