Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) was repeatedly interrupted by constituents concerned about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act during a packed Tuesday town hall in Grand Rapids, MLive.com reported.
A number of the 250 people who filled the auditorium at the Gerald R. Ford Museum pressed Amash to explain how the healthcare law could be repealed without taking insurance away from the millions of Americans it covers. Dozens more were turned away from the venue due to lack of space.
“Do you or do you not support the immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act with or without a replacement?” one attendee asked, according to MLive.
Amash said he believed that individual states should be tasked with replacing the federal law, prompting cries of dissent from the crowd, the newspaper reported.
“You can have a repeal that is triggered by state replacement,” he clarified, according to MLive. “In other words, you pass legislation to repeal. As states replace the legislation, then the repeal is triggered in that state. That is what I’m talking about.”
Amash last week joined eight other Republicans and Democrats to vote against a budget reconciliation measure intended to begin the process of dismantling the ACA. He cited the trillions of dollars that the measure predicted would be added to the federal budget in coming years as the source of his opposition.
This vote failed to assuage the concerns of his constituents. Some expressed concern about a lapsed timeline between the law’s repeal and replacement, while others asked if a GOP replacement plan could cut Medicare benefits, according to video posted online by a member of Indivisible West Michigan.
After Amash referred to the healthcare law as “Obamacare,” a number of audience members interrupted to insist that he call it the “Affordable Care Act” instead.
The lawmaker drew applause when he said he did not vote for Donald Trump and when he urged Americans to try to look past partisan divides, according to the newspaper.
A number of other Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), have been confronted by voters concerned about ACA repeal at town hall events and rallies over the last few days.