US Rep. Fred Upton had a visit from about 50 constituents While Rep. David Trott heard from 100 more worried about a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The group in Kalamazoo marched down East Michigan avenue and into the district office where they demanded Rep. Upton make a public statement opposing the repeal of the ACA.
The groups involved included Progressive Kalamazoo, Michigan People’s Campaign and MoveOn.Org. Dubbed #TuesdayTurnout, the planned series of events is aimed at resisting all of the dangerous policies proposed in the first hundred days of the incoming administration. President Trump promised, and has taken steps to repeal the ACA, despite having no plan to protect the millions of people covered by it, including nearly a million in Michigan.
One of them was Lindsey Palar, an Academic Adviser at Western Michigan University. Paul, her partner of eight years, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago. Palar says access to affordable and portable insurance makes their dream possible, to one day open a restaurant centered around youth development and community access. "Keeping the Affordable Care Act would allow would-be entrepreneurs like Paul and me to pursue what we are meant to do together, to invest in our community.”
Meanwhile in Troy, about a hundred protesters filled the halls of the office building where Trott’s district office is located to demand a meeting with regressive representative so they could ask him to protect their health care and not repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Over a month ago, Julia Galliker and dozens of other 11th district constituents were told to call scheduler, Marla Rondo to make an appointment with Rep. David Trott (R-MI11), but despite regular calls and emails, there was no response.
This time, Galliker brought with her other people who have benefitted from the ACA like fellow constituent Patti Weber, whose son Dominic needed open heart surgery at birth and will need cardiac care throughout his life. Weber credits the ACA for providing affordable insurance when her ex-husband lost his job, creating a gap in their coverage. “When we go to the U of M hospital, I think of all the other families that couldn’t be there because of their pre-existing conditions.”
Karen Houghton’s son, Michael was born with hydrocephalus. The only way that he could stay on his parent’s insurance is if he was deemed disabled and dependent upon them, But at the age of 32, Michael was able to move out and, with the help of the ACA he is able to afford rent and his own insurance plan. “We miss him.” Houghton says. “But even more so, we will miss the benefits of the ACA should it be repealed."
Since Trott’s staff refused to meet with his constituents, the protesters called his DC office to inform them of the standoff back home and ask again to speak to the scheduler. Staff put them on hold for over half an hour, checking back occasionally to hear the crowd chanting “Our health Trumps your wealth!”.
Ultimately, Trott’s district staff conceded to meet with a Michigan People’s Campaign representative. They agreed to schedule a meeting at a later date with a limited number of constituent but not with the congressman himself. The spokesperson for the ACA group agreed to the meeting but said they would continue push to meet with Rep. Trott.
The action that brought all of these people into Rep. Trott’s office was organized by Michigan People’s Campaign. Dubbed #TuesdayTurnout, this was the first in a series of events aimed at resisting all of the dangerous policies proposed in the first hundred days of the incoming Trump administration. Trump promised, and has taken steps to repeal the ACA despite having no plan to cover the 20 million people covered by it, including nearly a million in Michigan.