State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Midstate AHCA opponents to Rep. Perry: 'shame on you'

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | May 5, 2017 5:43 PM
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Despite some rain, about 40 people turned out Friday afternoon to rally outside one of Perry's district offices. (Photo by Katie Meyer)

(Wormleysburg) -- Congress voted this week to chip away at the Affordable Care Act with a plan that garnered no Democratic votes and will likely see significant changes in the Senate.

Pennsylvania's GOP delegation was split on the bill -- with nine for it and nine against. Four of the votes against were Republicans, making Pennsylvania the state with the most conservative opponents to the measure.

Now, constituents opposed to the AHCA are making their displeasure known to those nine congressmen who voted for it.

Republican Scott Perry represents Pennsylvania's 4th district, which is in the commonwealth's south central region. The day after the health care vote, he had a crowd of people outside his Wormleysburg office in Cumberland County.

One protester, Mary Rosenkrans, said Perry's support of the plan is disingenuous. She explained, his comments at a March town hall made her hope he'd take a different position.

"He said he would listen to his constituents," she said. "I don't think he's listening. That's why we're here."

While the ralliers chanted "shame on you" out front, Perry spoke with several healthcare advocates inside.

Stephanie Gray, a health actuary, said they agreed on some basic points--for instance, that healthcare costs are too high. 

But she said tension arose on topics like women's care, which would be impacted under the GOP plan.

"Conservatives often say, you know, I'm a man, I'm done having kids, I don't need contraceptives and I don't want to pay for them," she said.

She also said there's some disagreement about what the plan would actually do.

"Representative Perry believes that people are going to continue to have coverage under the American Health Care Act, when the CBO has stated that 24 million people are going to lose their coverage," she said.

The CBO is the Congressional Budget Office, which provides nonpartisan analyses of the likely impact of legislation. It analyzed the GOP's previous version of the AHCA, which failed in March. The new one was passed with changes, but without an updated analysis.

Perry's office didn't comment on the meeting.

In a statement, he said he believes the House plan appropriately covers Pennsylvanians, including those with preexisting conditions.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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