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WashPost: GOP Avoiding Social-Media Moments in Obamacare Debate

Image: WashPost: GOP Avoiding Social-Media Moments in Obamacare Debate

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By    |   Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 01:11 PM

Republicans appear to be trying to avoid live discussions, because of the likelihood their comments could go viral on social media, according to The Washington Post.

With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act as a hot topic, only 10 GOP legislators have held town hall meetings since Jan. 1. Only one, Wisconsin Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner Jr., is currently planning to host one.

"In this day and age, real-life town halls are very dangerous for all but the most seasoned politicians . . . most should stick to office hours," former senior House GOP leadership aide John Feehery told the Post.

Few Republicans said they were planning public events, saying they were focusing on small group meetings, outreach on social media, and telephone town halls in which legislators answer their questions one at a time, the Post reported.

"They want to make sure all the hot-button issues are discussed," according to Shaun Thompson, an officer for Tele-Town Hall LLC, a vendor that has worked with both Republicans and Democrats.

Since Congress began its repeal of the ACA, nicknamed Obamacare, constituents have faced off with Republicans at public forums, which resulted in media reports and videos shared across social media by Democrats.

In one instance, constituents shouted "save our healthcare" at Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers as she spoke at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event Monday.

During a CNN town hall last week, a cancer survivor in Arizona said because of Obamacare, "I'm standing here today alive."

He asked House Speaker Paul Ryan, "Why would you repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement?"

More Republicans might be using Obamacare than Democrats: 6.3 million Obamacare customers are in Republican districts, while 5.2 million are in Democratic districts, the Post reported.

West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin told the Post his constituents are "scared to death. I've got miners who could lose their black lung (insurance coverage). I've got people in treatment now who never had treatment before for opiate addition."

However, Maine Sen. Susan Collins said activists were sowing "misinformation" about the Republicans' healthcare plans.

"I think it's really unfortunate that some of these paid activists are scaring people about what's going to happen," she said.

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford agreed.

"There are a lot of folks peddling a lot of fear right now," he said.

Manchin said most of those in his state who voted for Trump also have healthcare through Obamacare.

"They don't know how they got their healthcare," Manchin said. "They're going to know how they lost it, I guarantee you that."

Democrats are hoping, by working together, they can stop the Republicans' attempt to end Obamacare, according to Bloomberg.

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Republicans appear to be trying to avoid live discussions, because of the likelihood their comments could go viral on social media, according to The Washington Post.
obamacare, GOP, social media, repeal and replace
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2017-11-19
Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 01:11 PM
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