Top Republican Faces Tough Questions About Health Care At Oregon Town Hall

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Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), one of the Republicans who helped craft the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, was forced to defend his support for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to a raucous crowd on Thursday at a town hall in Bend, Oregon.

More than 2,000 people attended the event, where they booed, shouted, and grilled Walden on health care and his support for President Donald Trump, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

“Why do you want to do away with the Affordable Care Act?” one attendee asked Walden, according to OPB.

The congressman said that he wants to keep certain parts of Obamacare, like protections for those with pre-existing conditions, but change other aspects of the law.

“I want to fix it, so it will work,” Walden said, per OPB.

He said that the AHCA is a “work in progress” that “needs to be improved,” according to Portland television station KOIN.

When asked if he thinks Trump should release his tax returns, Walden said that everyone has a right to keep their taxes private, and his answer was met with boos, OPB reported.

As members of the audience jeered and shouted, Walden asked the crowd to be respectful.

“You’re starting to sound like Congress,” he said, according to OPB.

Walden also faced tough crowds at two town halls on Wednesday, where attendees largely focused on Obamacare.

“I witnessed you on television with Paul Ryan when he announced his so-called health care bill,” one attendee, Roger Wagner, said at a Wednesday town hall, according to The Oregonian. “That bill eliminates 24 million people off of health care. But that wasn’t enough. You also wanted to cut funding for Meals on Wheels, well-baby care, all the while giving $1 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy and your corporate buddies?”

Asked to defend his support for the AHCA at the Wednesday event, Walden emphasized the parts of Obamacare that he wants to keep, the Washington Post reported.

“It was an embarrassment and a disaster,” one attendee told walden at a Wednesday event, drawing applause from the crowd, per the Washington Post. “You don’t make the plan better by taking away insurance for 24 million people across the nation.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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