Congress is in recess and that means town hall meetings back in the district. The progressive group Fuse Washington held what it billed as a “health care town hall” at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers was invited but declined to attend.
A series of speakers criticized McMorris Rodgers for her vote last week in support of the House Republican health care plan. Many shared their own stories and talked about their worries that the new plan would lead to many people losing their health care.
Dr. Paula Landsberger recalled her days as medical director for Project Access, a Spokane program in which physicians donate their time to see patients without insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act, Project Access took about 100 applications a month, Landsberger said.
“People desperate for health care because they didn’t have any other options. When the Affordable Care Act came in, you know how many applications we got each month? Four," Landsberger said.
"People had real health care. It put me out of a job, I was so happy," she said, laughing, to applause. "So when certain Republicans of neighboring states say people don’t die because they don’t have health care, I don’t believe it. I’ve seen it.”
Several people called for the U.S. to adopt a single payer health system, such as those employed by many industrialized nations.
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