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OPINION

LETTER: Toomey should face protesters

Pennsylvania

Sen. Pat Toomey refuses to hold an in-person town hall where constituents could ask questions and talk about how his legislative decisions affect our lives. So, those of us who view healthcare as a moral issue are putting our bodies on the line by engaging in civil disobedience at his offices and outside a TV station in Harrisburg where he participated in a televised, invitation-only “town hall” Wednesday.

Protesters chant in front of the studios of WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pa., prior to the arrival of Sen. Pat Toomey Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Toomey's first appearance in front of a live TV audience was dominated by questions about the Senate's health care legislation that he helped write. (James Robinson /PennLive.com via AP)

On TV, he dodged questions about the Senate health care bill he drafted and perpetuated misconceptions about its effects on Medicaid, claiming people won’t lose coverage and more money will be spent on Medicaid annually, putting it “on a sustainable path."

I find his comments repugnant and dangerous, as they could not be further from the truth. He’s leading the efforts to make Medicaid unsustainable by dramatically reducing the percentage of federal funding states will receive, which will only worsen each year as medical costs increase at a higher rate than reimbursements, especially due to our large aging population. Our state is facing a $3 billion deficit and these deep cuts will pit the needs of vulnerable populations against one another. Cutting $772 billion in Medicaid funding will lead to changes in eligibility requirements, and cuts to programs and services that are a lifeline to low-income adults, children, the disabled and seniors.

Toomey should meet with the individuals with disabilities who were arrested outside the TV station because they would tell him that Medicaid is the only thing keeping them from being institutionalized. But until then, as someone who believes it’s an injustice to not provide health care for all, especially the most vulnerable among us, I will keep fighting and getting arrested if that’s what it takes to get my senator’s attention.

ALISON FRASER

Jenkintown, Montgomery County