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Perry's town hall to bring challenges on health-care proposal

Written by Lindsey Welling/Hanover Evening Sun | Mar 16, 2017 7:56 AM
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(Undated) -- While the Trump administration works with some Republicans in Congressto repeal the Affordable Care Act, some constituents from Pennsylvania's 4th district plan to voice their concerns over the legislation to Rep. Scott Perry at his town hall meeting on Saturday.

Communications director Brandy Brown said Perry will recap what has happened in Congress, what is before Congress now, including the proposed health care bill, and what to expect going forward. Perry, R-Carroll Township, will also answer constituents' questions.

"Our office is going to do our best to make sure that each person gets an individual response," Brown said.

Spots for the town hall meeting at Red Lion Area Junior High School filled up just a few hours after it was announced on Tuesday morning. Brown said the idea was not to limit attendance, but there's only so much space the venue can accommodate. A wait list has begun.

Those who weren't able to get a spot can watch the live stream on Perry's Facebook page. Those attending the meeting are required to provide a photo ID. Brown said it's for practical reasons.

"We want to make sure he is talking to his constituents," Brown said.

The Affordable Care Act repeal has been on the minds of members of a local, non-partisan political action group called Indivisible Action Pa. 4th District. Many plan to be there, including Leon Reed, a semi-retired resident of Cumberland Township, who got involved in the group a few weeks after it started as a way to influence policies. He said his biggest concerns right now are "the mess of trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and immigration and how it might affect our local agriculture."

"It's our job to educate him," Reed said.

Concerns over those issues have been voiced by both political parties. Adams County Republican Committee chairwoman Betsy Hower said the ACA is the biggest item on the agenda right now. She agrees with Perry that there are some things in that law that need to be fixed.

"We all have different ideas," Hower said. "Hopefully we will come to an agreement on what is best for the American citizens."

In a statement on his website, Perry said, "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is broken; it has increased the cost of health insurance for millions, caused many to lose their health insurance, and hurt the majority of hard working people trying to earn a living. I'll continue to seek and hear your thoughts as the Congress moves forward in the replacement process."

"He's willing to listen," Brown said. "He wants to hear from across the spectrum at the meeting."

Rep. Scott Perry takes questions from constituents on Facebook, Feb. 15, 2017.

 

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said in an analysis that the Republican bill to replace Obamacare would lead to 14 million fewer Americans with health insurance by 2018, and 24 million fewer by 2026. Reed and his wife, who are both on Medicare, are concerned that the ACA repeal will have a negative ripple effect on not only their health insurance coverage and cost but everyone's.

"It is being presented as something that's going to only affect the poor," Reed said. "But it's going to affect everyone."

Reed is one of more than 1,500 members of the Indivisible group that formed in January. Group members have taken action against issuessuch as the ACA repeal through peaceful protests and meetings with local lawmakers like Perry.

Karen Pearce, a member of the group, said she fears for how immigration legislation will affect Pennsylvania's agricultural industry, which relies heavily on immigrant workers.

"We're looking at the agenda set forth by the Trump administration as something that is going to take America backward," Pearce said. "It literally touches our neighbors."

Brown said there are plans for Perry to hold another town hall meeting in the near future.

If you go

WhenSaturday March 18, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.

WhereRed Lion Area Junior High School cafeteria

To get on the wait list: https://perry.house.gov/town-hall/

 

This article is part of a partnership between WITF and the Hanover Evening Sun.

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