Protesters back at Toomey’s Philly office

 Protesters gather at the entrance to the United States Custom House, where U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has his Philadelphia office. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Protesters gather at the entrance to the United States Custom House, where U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has his Philadelphia office. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

About 50 protesters gathered in a steady rain Thursday outside the Philadelphia office of Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey to again demonstrate their opposition to GOP plans to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Toomey is one of the architects of the plan that the Congressional Budget Office says would insure 22 million fewer people over the next decade — a number Toomey disputes.

Demonstrator Melissa Byrne of West Philadelphia said she hopes that Toomey will have a change of heart.

“I would hope that Sen. Toomey, when he hears all the stories of people struggling with health care access, will do what’s right for Pennsylvanians,” Byrne said.

Another protester, Sam Goldman of Philadelphia, said she doesn’t expect Toomey to change his mind about the bill, but is convinced it harms the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

“I think everyone, including and especially children, the disabled, the sick deserve access to health care, food to eat, and to be treated as full human beings,” Goldman said.

Toomey defended the Senate bill in a televised town hall Wednesday night at a Harrisburg TV station, responding to those who say states can’t afford to maintain expanded Medicaid coverage without existing federal subsidies.

“The federal government is broker than the state,” Toomey said. “I’ll tell you … I think it makes sense for this to be a shared responsibility.”

No vote has been set yet in the Senate on the GOP’s health care legislation.

Danielle Fox contributed to this story.

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