Demonstrators gathered Friday outside Twin Cities-area offices of two Republican U.S. representatives who voted a day earlier for the Republican measure repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
About 150 people showed up outside the Eden Prairie office of U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen over the lunch hour, and another 50 at the Burnsville office of U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis. (U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, the third Minnesota Republican in the House, also voted for the American Health Care Act.)
The protest outside Paulsen’s office was organized by the Third Congressional District chapter of Indivisible, a group that has sprung up in recent months in response to the agenda of President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress.
“I just don’t think that he cares,” said Cathy Larson of Chanhassen. Larson said she suffers from respiratory problems following a bout of pneumonia, and she had an oxygen bag at her side connected by tube to her nose. The vote “just makes me sad this is the direction the country is going,” she said.
In addition to the protest, Paulsen’s Facebook page became a repository for more than 2,000 posts about his vote, most of them angry.
His spokesman declined to comment Friday on the protest, referring back to a statement released Thursday in which Paulsen explained his vote. In it Paulsen said that “Obamacare is no longer acceptable” and called the bill “just the latest step in reforming our health care system.” In his own statement, Lewis said the legislation would offer “much-needed relief” including “lower premiums, universal access, and greater patient choice.”
At the “die-in” outside Lewis’ office, 69-year-old Eagan real estate agent Sharon Bowman said: “I have family members who are alive today” because of Obamacare. “It’s not an exaggeration that people will die. The level of callousness is breathtaking.”
An employee of Lewis’ office spent time speaking individually with a number of the protesters.