WV Press Videos

Constituents rally against health bill At Rep. David McKinley’s Parkersburg field office


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va.  — A group concerned with Republicans’ proposed dismantling of the Affordable Care Act rallied Thursday morning at a Parkersburg field office for Rep. David McKinley.

Residents express their concerns over Republican-led attempts to change the Affordable Care Act at a rally Thursday morning.
(Photo by Jess Mancini)

About 18 residents associated with Wood County Indivisible held signs and spoke with Robert Villers, a field representative for McKinley, R-W.Va., at his office on Market Street in Parkersburg. Julie Schleier said she has participated in the national health insurance program since it began under President Barack Obama.

“What’s at stake is basically my life,” Schleier said.

The House of Representatives was set to vote on the American Health Care Act, the health care plan from the Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act was delayed amid reports there was dwindling support for its replacement.

While the Affordable Care Act has been dubbed “Obamacare,” the American Health Care Act has been called “Trumpcare,” with estimates more than 24 million people by 2026 would lose insurance coverage. More than 180,000 people are on the Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act in West Virginia.

Mark Dasher said his son, Julian, has a pre-existing condition and would have been unable to start his business, Dasher’s Deals on eBay, if it had not been for the Affordable Care Act.

Other issues are of concern, but the Affordable Care Act is taking center stage because of the upcoming vote in the House, said Jeanne Peters, a member and spokesperson for a group called “Wood County Indivisible.”

Among those are environmental issues. The Republicans are reversing pollution standards from the Environmental Protection Agency, Dasher said.

“I think a lot of people can remember what it used to be like,” he said.

Russian influence in the election and in the Trump administration is an issue, too, said Susan Sharp.

“We would like an independent investigation,” she said.

McKinley holds about 250 meetings, roundtables and other events each year in the district and on March 13 met with the Mountaineers for Progress group in Morgantown to discuss the health care issue, his office said.

“Over the last few months I have held numerous roundtable discussions, conducted tele-town halls, and spoken with many constituents one-on-one to listen to their concerns regarding the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare,”McKinley said this week. “All along, we heard about the need to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions and allow younger Americans to stay on their parents’ plan. Protections for both of these groups have been included in the bill. However, since the bill was released last week, many have expressed further concerns about it. I have listened to these concerns and shared them with House leadership. “The meeting with Villers, who is the veteran’s services specialist for McKinley, was not anticipated, Peters said. The group presented its concerns to Villers and asked why McKinley has not held a meeting with them in Parkersburg.

Villers pointed to a calendar on the wall and said McKinley’s schedule is booked through May.

“We need to get on that schedule,” Peters said.

The message to McKinley is not to take the political course, according to Peters.

See more from The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter