Letter: McConnell didn’t attend town hall, missed stories of those affected by ACA

Dear Editor,

I moderated a town hall meeting on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its economic impact on this community.

Sen. Mitch McConnell was invited to this town hall but after many calls and emails to his offices, he declined to attend. We decided to go ahead because we thought his constituents, our friends and neighbors, deserved to be heard.

It turns out that Sen. McConnell was in Danville at the same time as (or slightly after) our town hall meeting at a private residence for a fundraiser.

Sen. McConnell missed hearing from the single mother who works full-time and whose children have health care only because of the Medicaid expansion. He missed hearing from the local provider whose facility is busy because people are doing preventative health care instead of waiting until they are forced to go to the emergency room, because they now have health insurance. She worries about her job and her patients should the ACA be repealed.

Sen. McConnell did not hear the stories of the director of a rehab center for addicts who has to work with a flawed Medicaid system but at least the system allows him to help addicts begin the work of recovery. He missed the story of a young man who was prescribed a legal pain medication and became so addicted that once the prescription ran out, he turned to other drugs until the ACA allowed him to get insurance coverage and overcome his addiction. He is now working toward creating a rehab center for addicts.

Sen. McConnell missed the story of a young woman who was pregnant at 22, unmarried and poor, but who turned to Planned Parenthood for help with prenatal care and referrals that helped her raise a healthy daughter. The AHCA, TrumpCare, defunds Planned Parenthood.

Sen. McConnell missed these and other stories because he chose to attend a private fundraiser in town. If you believe our members of Congress (MOCs), including Sen. McConnell, should represent all of their constituents, not just their wealthy donors, please contact their offices and make your voice heard. If you believe that the ACA needs repair, not repeal, then contact your MOCs. The House votes on the AHCA, TrumpCare, on March 23. You can use the Capitol switchboard — (202) 224-3121 — or look up contact information on each MOC’s webpage.

Julie Pease

Danville