“He will not show up for a town hall. He refuses to. That’s not representation. Representation is coming and facing your constituents. That’s who you represent. And he needs to do that.”
Those were the words of Bob Massaro who along with over 70 others showed up to US Senator Cory Gardner’s Fort Collins office to deliver postcards, letter, and a sign with their message signed by the more than 70 people who attended the rally. Outside of the Senator’s office, messages warning of a worsening healthcare system were held.
Letters that were delivered spoke of support for Obamacare and in opposition to the American Healthcare Act (ACHA) recently passed out of Congress. Especially concerning to those in attendance was the outlining in the ACHA of preexisting conditions that would eliminate care for those who have them.
Members representing Organizing for Action (OFA), Indivisible Northern Colorado, (NOCO), and Fort Collins for Progress came together to hold tell Senator Gardner that conditions in the ACHA are unacceptable to them, but also to demand a face-to-face town hall with him, “Senator Gardner is on the group of twelve white men who are developing the Senate healthcare plan. Let’s show Senator Gardner that a vote for a bad healthcare plan is a vote against the well-being of his constituents,” Andrew Bondi is a member of Fort Collins for Progress, “Really our concerns have to do with preexisting conditions. The fact that the ACHA healthcare bill that passed said that the healthcare is still accessible. It really depends on who you’re saying it’s accessible for, for preexisting conditions because they really gave the health insurance company the right to charge hundreds if not thousands of dollars for preexisting healthcare concerns. Everybody here probably had one. Most people who are standing around here probably have one. So it doesn’t work. It’s not going to work.”
Carla Massaro held a gravestone marker that read, “RIP, I had a preexisting condition.” She told The Nation report that she came out for her 3-year old granddaughter, ” I want to see her enjoy life with good healthcare. The healthier that people are, the less expensive it’s going to be for the entire nation. I’m 63 and I’m counting the days til I reach 65. I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to Medicare. And what a sad way to live your life.” Massaro said that she lives in fear given the actions of the Trump administration, “I wasn’t until Trump came into office. Now I’m very fearful for Medicare and Social Security. And I just don’t know what people will do without it. And it’s frightening.”
Masssaro’s message to Senator Gardner? “Listen to the people and have a town hall and face to face meeting. We have not had one in over two years and I think it’s outrageous. How can he represent us if he doesn’t know what we’re thinking and what we’re feeling. We’re sick of watching videos on his site. The majority of people here in Larimer County support healthcare for all.”
Bob Massaro’s sign said, “RIP. I was poor.”
“We know that the US does not rank number one in any aspect of healthcare. You can compare that to any nation in the world. And yet we keep fighting it. We keep thinking we’re number one and we’re not. Except in costs. We spend more per-capita than any other industrialized country in the world. We have the worst outcome. And the worst outcome is from breast cancer. Any measure you want to use, we don’t have the best healthcare. And now we have a congress that’s ignoring what 70 some percent of the people [want]. And they’re going to tear this healthcare system apart, throw possibly 20 million people off of healthcare. That’s not a solution.”
His message to Cory Gardner? “We have not had a town hall with him in years. I have tele-town halls with him. They’re meaningless because you can’t see what the people are thinking. You get to ask one question and that’s it.”