WPRI: Health care reform a hot topic at Coventry ‘town hall’

WPRI: Health care reform a hot topic at Coventry ‘town hall’

By Kim Kalunian

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) – Three members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation hosted a town hall meeting in Coventry Sunday afternoon.

Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, with Rep. Jim Langevin, met with attendees Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Coventry High School Auditorium.

The meeting came on the heels of Friday’s news that House Republicans were withdrawing their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare.”

“I believe that Washington heard you loud and clear,” Langevin told the crowd assembled Sunday. “It turned up the heat so much, in a bipartisan way, on members of the House and Senate, particularly on the House side, because the ACA repeal and replace effort, I believe, is dead.”

Many in the crowd expressed relief that the Republicans’ efforts failed on Friday. Senator Reed told Eyewitness News that seemed to be the way the majority of constituents felt.

“Right now, I think a lot of people, even those who have supported Trump’s campaign are saying, ‘This is not going to help me, and why is he doing this?’” he said.

Some at Sunday’s gathering said it was time for the entirely Democratic delegation to push even further and seek to implement a single-payer health care system. Others said the ACA wasn’t as affordable as its name claimed.

“I mean, there’s plenty of room for us to work together, if [the Republicans] would only try,” said Whitehouse when asked about bipartisan efforts on health care moving forward.

In addition to health care, some attendees voiced questions and concerns about President Trump’s proposed budget, as well as the ongoing investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia.

Reed said he favors the appointment of a special prosecutor, something he said he’ll be advocating for upon his return to D.C.