Voters say health care debate shows their voices are heard
(KMSP) - A day after a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed, a group of Minnesota voters in Eagan gathered to hear why Congressman Jason Lewis supported the bill.
The meeting was put together by the group Indivisible Resistance of Eagan and Burnsville, but was organized before the planned vote. Lewis has so far refused invitations from the groups aligned with the progressive Indivisible movement to appear at town halls in his district.
“I've seen literally thousands of people coming to events like this, who have nothing more than a face on a stick to represent them,” said Mark Frascone, with the group Indivisible Resistance of Eagan and Burnsville, also known as IReb.
In a statement to Fox 9, Lewis said, “I do not endorse a partisan, political point-scoring event filtering down from nationally organized Indivisible groups with handbooks from Democrat former staffers. I want a respectful exchange with those who want to be heard.”
Some at the event have found other ways to reach Lewis.
Shelly Beaumont said she is struggling with high prescription drug costs for her autistic son and thought the American Health Care Act was not the answer.
“I made many calls, I called my congressman, I sent letters,” said Beaumont. “I am so relieved that this bill got pulled yesterday. It feels good, I actually helped do it, even though I'm one person.”
But, Lewis still intended to vote for the bill, speaking on the House floor in the hours before leaders determined the AHCA wouldn’t have the votes to pass.
“You can embrace the status quo and watch the market's spiral out of control completely. Or you can vote for change and do the right thing,” said Rep. Lewis.
Those at the event on Saturday say the health care debate is a sign their voices, however they reach their leaders, are making a difference.
“I think that Donald Trump has done an amazing thing for the country,” said Beaumont. “And that is he got people like myself who were complacent off our butts."
Leaders with Indivisible Resistance Eagan-Burnsville say they are locally organized and funded.
They hope to get the comments from Saturday’s event to Lewis in some form.
Lewis told Fox 9 he engages with his constituents often, and he does intend to hold his own town halls. There are no specifics yet as to when this may happen.