BEND, Ore. - A small crowd took to the streets of Bend during a visit from Rep. Greg Walden Monday, many speaking out against moves underway to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
"As it is right now, my insurance is basically costing me about 35 percent of my pension, and I'm not able to go any higher than that," said Bill Brant, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. "That's more than most people pay for their mortgage.”
Walden chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which will play a key role in efforts to end parts of President Obama’s health care plan through budget reconciliation. This makes it possible for the GOP to dismantle parts of the law quickly and without the threat of a Democratic filibuster.
President-elect Donald Trump says a replacement plan is ready, and will provide “insurance for all.” He has not gone into detail, but said it will be “better” and “less expensive” than provided in the current law.
Walden did not comment during his Bend visit, but provided NewsChannel 21 this statement:
"All over Central Oregon, I've heard a clear message: health care options are too expensive and too limited. We need to give all Oregonians access to more affordable health options and better choices, and we're working with the incoming administration to make that a reality."
B.J. Thomas said she worries about what these changes mean for her great-grandkids.
"What kind of a world are they going to grow up into? They're 8, 6 and 2, and what's going to be there for them? What kind of health care are they going to have?” Thomas asked.
Now that the budget resolution has passed, lawmakers must write specific legislation that outlines exactly what is going to be repealed.