Town Hall On Health Care To Go Ahead With Or Without Issa
UPDATE: 10:43 a.m., Feb. 21, 2017
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) may not attend a town hall meeting on health care in Vista on Tuesday, but organizers said they will go ahead without him.
A coalition of local and statewide groups, including faith leaders, community health advocates and labor groups have called the town hall. They invited Issa and took out a full-page advertisement in The San Diego Union-Tribune after they did not hear back from him.
Organizers said the event is the second in a series of statewide town halls to draw attention to the danger of repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan.
They said 300 people attended a town hall in Modesto last week, hoping to hear from their representative, Rep. Jeff Dunham (R-Turlock). He did not attend.
Earlier this month Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) of Northern California was met by angry crowds at a town hall and had to be escorted out by police.
Issa’s office said he has a prior commitment Tuesday.
Issa spokesman Calvin Moore said district staff have met with coalition members and relayed their concerns to the congressman.
“Large numbers of these groups were able to participate our first telephone town hall and ask him questions directly on that call,” Moore said. “The congressman has written back and responded to their letters and phone calls to our office.”
In a statement, Issa said he encourages "feedback so that together we can advance a solution that protects patients, and truly puts your needs first.” He said he hears every day from constituents who have lost coverage or are worried they will lose it.
"The plan I’m proposing frees us from Obamacare’s burdens, while focusing on what works, to create a simpler, patient-centered, market-based health care alternative that puts patients back in the driver’s seat of their health care,” he said in a press release.
Issa has supported federal block grants that could leave states or counties responsible for much of the subsidies to make that insurance coverage affordable.
More than 370,000 San Diego county residents are enrolled in health insurance plans under Covered California or the expanded Medi-Cal coverage provided under Obamacare.