Rain fails to deter group from protesting congressman's AHCA vote

Source: WOIO
Source: WOIO

PARMA, OH (WOIO) - More than a dozen constituents of Congressman Jim Renacci protested his vote in favor of the American Health Care Act Friday.

The group, composed of about 20 people, stood outside in the rain in front of Renacci's office, and stood outside of his office door, to try to make their voices heard. Their signs, and concerns, focused on things like de-funding Planned Parenthood, coverage and cost for those with pre-existing conditions, and who might lose health insurance if the House bill becomes law.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 28 percent, or 1.9 million, non-elderly Ohioans have pre-existing conditions.

"This is going to impact us. All we can say right now are the different ways that we know it's going to impact us based on the previous version as well as the pre-existing conditions that are going to increase people's premiums," said Marion Clarke, the regional field manager for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio.

She urged those who think the health care legislation does not affect them to think of others.

"I would say think of your neighbor, think of your family, think of the other people in your community that rely on these services," said Clarke.

Another protestor, Jane Reilly, said she hopes people don't look at the number of people who showed up to protest on a rainy Friday afternoon as a
sign that the rest of Renacci's district agrees with his vote.

"I would say you're looking at soaked feet, you're looking at drenched folks, you're looking at a 12-hour time line, or not even 24 hours at least. You're looking at hard core, dedicated people that are willing to come out you're looking at people rising up," said Reilly.

No one answered the protesters who knocked on the door, or responded to the letters the protesters slid under Renacci's office door. Cleveland 19 reached out to the congressman's office. A representative for Renacci said that no one was in the congressman's Parma office when the protesters were there. She said they were at a Wadsworth office to help out with an event that happened earlier on Friday.

The congressman has released several statements on his Facebook page explaining his support of the AHCA, citing raising premiums and deductibles.

"The bill is now in the Senate's hands, where it will undergo more changes before it is passed into law. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the other chamber on producing the strongest legislation possible to make healthcare accessible and affordable for all Americans," Renacci said on Facebook.

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