Willamette Week: Cheers For Universal Healthcare Greet Rep. Greg Walden In Trump-Voting Rural Oregon

http://www.wweek.com/news/2017/05/09/cheers-for-universal-healthcare-greet-rep-greg-walden-in-trump-voting-rural-oregon/

Yesterday—four days after the U.S. House of Representatives vote to repeal the Obama-era Affordable Care Act—U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) held town hall meetings in three rural towns in his district.

Prior to those meetings, as WW reported, Walden's Facebook page was filled with scalding insults from Oregonians angry about the health care vote, although it was unclear how many lived in his district.

Thanks to videos of the town halls published by the East Oregonian newspaper, it's clear that Walden's constituents are angry, too.

Even in Elgin, population 1,700, in Union County, which voted 65 percent for Donald Trump, Walden faced skeptical and at times furious voters.

"You're screwing us!" a woman yelled.

Walden rhetorically hid behind children. "Remember," he said, "we have a group of eighth graders back here? If we could kind of watch our language?"

Interruptions persisted. When another woman shouted, "Medicare for all!" Walden asked, "How many want universal health care, a government-run system?" The crowd clapped and cheered and a majority raised their hands.

He ignored the result and called on a man who decried the loss of civility and asked if Walden would sponsor legislation to jail protesters like those who blocked his entry to Trump's inauguration. The man was booed.

Walden was instrumental in the House vote last week to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace it with the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare). If the bill passes the Senate and becomes law an estimated 640,000 Oregonians would lose health insurance coverage due to preexisting conditions, but Walden says he doesn't believe those estimates.