Bismark Tribune: 'Resistance' demands Perry answer for 'Trumpcare' vote

http://www.ydr.com/story/news/2017/05/09/resistance-demands-perry-answer-trumpcare-vote/101460894/

A growing, grass roots self-described political "resistance" group is demanding that U.S. Congressman Scott Perry publicly and personally explain his yes vote on the American Health Care Act, the GOP replacement for Obamacare.

Perry, R-Carroll Township, was among the 217-213 majority in the passage of the bill last week.

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Indivisible YORK started an online petition drive over the weekend, collecting signatures from people who want Perry to quickly set up a town hall meeting about his vote.

"The petition has received a strong response," according to an Indivisible YORK news release.

More than 200 people had signed the petition as of 10:30 p.m. Monday.

Perry spokeswoman, Brandy Brown, sidestepped the direct question about Indivisible YORK's demand for a public meeting.

"Congressman Perry has conducted about 20 town hall meetings since being elected to Congress; with the last one being less than two months ago," Brown said in an emailed response to the York Daily Record.

"We’ve been clear from the beginning that there will be multiple in-person town halls, Facebook town halls and tele-town halls for constituents to engage with the Congressman."

Perry, who represents the 4th Congressional District, which includes Adams and York counties and parts of Cumberland and Dauphin counties, does not have any form of town hall scheduled in the near future.

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On his congressional website the day after the House vote, Perry explained his reasoning behind his vote.

“While it's important to recognize the American Health Care Act does not repeal the Affordable Care Act in full, it is a first step, albeit an imperfect one," Perry stated.

The actual first attempt to pass the AHCA failed when the conservative Freedom Caucus, of which Perry is a member, and the more moderate Tuesday Group, another GOP caucus, both bucked the party leaders for different reasons.

The Freedom Caucus contended that the AHCA did not go far enough in its repeal of Obamacare, and the Tuesday Group was concerned the AHCA would leave too many people -- reportedly 24 million -- without access to affordable health care.

"Recent changes in the AHCA will give states more flexibility to tailor health care policies to meet the specific needs of its citizens and help reduce premium costs over time, while explicitly maintaining protections for those with pre-existing conditions,” Perry said. 

"I will support these changes, but will continue my efforts to improve our health care system and lower costs for the hard-working people of the 4th District,” Perry's statement said.

Comments posted to his website about his vote as of Tuesday were largely negative. The bill still must go before the Senate.

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With more than 600 York County members, Indivisible YORK, which refers to the AHCA as "Trumpcare," maintains the bill would take affordable health care away from 43,000 residents in Perry's district and would "dramatically increase premiums for those with pre-existing conditions -- including more than 300,000 residents in the 4th District."

Perry was one of the few Republican congressmen nationwide to previously hold a public town hall meeting following the election of President Donald Trump. In May in Red Lion, Perry faced a packed auditorium of somewhat hostile constituents.

One highlight of the meeting for Perry was the crowd applauding him for holding the town hall in the first place.

Senate committee hearing on AHCA on Facebook Live

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller will testify before the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee on the potential impact of the AHCA at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Last week, Miller said, "“I am extremely disappointed that the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that jeopardizes protections put in place by the Affordable Care Act for people with pre-existing conditions.

"We have no idea what the impact of this legislation will be on state and federal budgets and on people who receive health care both on the individual market and through their employer."

Watch the hearing on Facebook Live.

Toomey, GOP senators to tackle Senate version of AHCA 

Following the narrow passage of the AHCA in the House, the bill now goes to the Senate, which can craft its own version of a replacement for Obamacare.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is heading a group of all male, all Republican senators that will take a look at the House version. Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey is a member of that working group. 

Emily PhelpsPA