SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Hundreds packed the Clairemont High School auditorium Monday night for the fourth town hall meeting held by Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA 52).
Many in attendance raised their voices about a number of topics, including immigration, President Donald Trump, but mostly health care.
“We’re speaking up for what we believe in,” said Gigi Gonzalez.
The American Health Care Act under the Trump administration was top of mind.
“Why not take a little bit of time? Research it a little bit, there’s no rush, it’s not a race. There’s a lot of people that stand to lose their benefit from this.”
Rep. Peters said he shares the concerns of many constituents.
“We have to go back to the drawing board. We can do a lot better than that," he said.
On Monday, the congressman outright slammed the new healthcare bill.
“It’s not good news when 24 million people lose insurance and the way you’re funding that largely is by cutting taxes on really wealthy people,” said Peters.
Republicans said the loss is not clear, arguing the new bill removes mandates to carry health insurance, so it will be up to individual choice. GOP leaders also argue the American Health Care Act encourages more competition in a free market.
“It’s not going to work,” said Rep. Peters. “The answer is to figure out a way to be much more efficient, but not to throw the baby out with the bath water.”
Town hall meetings have been in great demand since the election of President Trump. Monday night’s meeting was the fourth for Rep. Peters.
“If we can do these periodically, and check in with my constituents, it’s great for me. I love to do it,” said Rep. Peters.
“I love that he keeps in touch with us,” said Gonzales. “He’s not hiding like Duncan Hunter or Darrell Issa. He’s coming out here and he’s taking the good with the bad.”
Representatives Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter each held town hall meetings over the weekend. Representative Susan Davis has also held a number of formal gatherings since the new administration.
Juan Vargas is the only congressional leader that does not have any formal gatherings on record. Recently asked at a local swearing in ceremony, Vargas said, “I’ve held them, but no one shows up.”
Efforts by our reporters to verify this information with Vargas’ office have gone unanswered.