Dem vows to storm Ryan’s district to protest health bill

Dem vows to storm Ryan’s district to protest health bill
© Greg Nash

A liberal Democrat plans to storm into Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanUnscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration MORE’s (R-Wis.) district this week to highlight the Speaker’s support for a GOP healthcare overhaul that could erode coverage for millions of people.

Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanHannity decries Green New Deal as 'economically guaranteed-to-be-devastating' Ocasio-Cortez unveils Green New Deal climate resolution Trump’s AIDS turnaround greeted with skepticism by some advocates MORE, a Wisconsin Democrat whose district borders Ryan's, has scheduled a Friday town hall meeting in Kenosha, Wis. — a response, Pocan says, to Ryan’s refusal to meet constituents following last week’s House passage of the American Health Care Act.

"I think everybody needs to know what's in this so-called health care bill,” Pocan said Tuesday in a statement.

“Tens of millions of people will lose access to health insurance, millions of others will pay more, and the only people who benefit are wealthier Americans who receive hundreds of billions in tax breaks.”

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Pocan’s announcement is just the latest amid the Democratic campaign to use the current House recess to rally voters in Republican districts against the AHCA — and the Republican lawmakers who backed it.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) launched the “adopt-a-district” effort Monday night, traveling into the neighboring region represented by Rep. John Faso (R-N.Y.) for a town hall rally opposing the bill. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is planning another event Tuesday evening in the Tucson district of Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.). Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) is eyeing districts to stage similar events. And Republican Reps. Mimi Walters (Calif.), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsCongress starts first day of shutdown with modest hope Senate agrees to last-ditch talks, but no clear path over shutdown Pelosi vows Dem help after GOP ‘meltdown’ on spending bills MORE (Texas) and John Katko (N.Y.) are all being targeted later in the week.

Passed by the House last Thursday, the Republicans’ healthcare bill takes steps toward fulfilling the GOP’s yearslong promise of repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with a more free-market system — a principal vow of President Trump.

But the proposal would also eliminate patient protections established by former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGovernment's misguided holiday to celebrate itself Virginia can be better than this Democrats have a chance of beating Trump with Julian Castro on the 2020 ticket MORE’s signature healthcare law — the Congressional Budget Office estimated an earlier version would eliminate coverage for 24 million people — and Republicans have faced a public outcry in recent weeks from voters concerned about losing those benefits.

In response, a vast majority of House Republicans are avoiding town hall meetings with constituents during the current weeklong recess. And those who are staging such events are facing crowds furious with their votes.

The Democrats are only more than happy to encourage the blowback. Pocan, for one, says the “adopt-a-district” concept is just beginning.

“Everything I've ever known about politics is that if you pass something you are proud of, you can't wait to talk about it. But crickets are louder than Republicans after they voted to kick millions of people off of health care while giving tax cuts to the wealthy,” he said.

“I'm more than happy to go into other districts to ensure the constituents of congressional Republicans know what's in this bill — starting with Paul Ryan’s.”

Ryan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.