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Rep. Jordan accused of ducking Trumpcare foes

By EVAN GOODENROW • May 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM

On April 24, Rep. Jim Jordan held a packed town hall meeting in Lima where Trumpcare was a major topic.

But constituents who are critics of the bill — officially known as the American Healthcare Act — say one meeting isn’t enough and contend Jordan is ducking them.

“I have been in touch with his office trying to get him to come to Tiffin to meet with a group of people for a couple of weeks and I’m getting a bit of a run around,” wrote Gina Gianni in an email to the Reflector.

Gianni said she was upset Jordan found time Monday to attend a Norwalk Rotary Club meeting and a meeting with farmers in Collins outside the 4th Congressional District, but didn’t come to Tiffin. However, Neil Lynch, Jordan’s deputy district director in Norwalk, said he is trying to arrange a Tiffin meeting. He said Jordan is nearly always in the district when not at the capitol and tries to meet with as many constituents as possible.

Jordan, who wouldn’t agree to a Reflector interview despite multiple requests over a one-week period, isn’t ducking his constituents, said spokesman Darin Miller.

While Jordan has hosted just one town hall meeting this year, Miller said Jordan has attended at least 100 meetings in the district this year. He also said Jordan frequently discussed healthcare with constituents at the meetings.

"Congressman Jordan has never been shy about his position on repealing and replacing Obamacare. He's been a leading voice on the issue in Congress and his constituents know where he stands,” Miller said in an email Thursday. “He also knows their concerns; we've heard from thousands by phone and in writing, but also in person.”

Lynch said Jordan won’t be attending a Friday forum on healthcare in Oberlin organized by foes of Trumpcare which is part of efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office said an earlier version of the bill — which includes huge tax cuts for the rich which helped pay for Obamacare — will cause 24 million people to lose healthcare. Bill opponents say it also will drive up premiums and slash services.

Trumpcare removes income-based subsidies to help poor- and middle-income people buy healthcare, allows insurers to charge older people far higher rates than under Obamacare and would allow states to opt out of restrictions on charging people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums. The bill is now in the Senate, where major changes could be made before going back to the House for final approval.

Oberlin organizers are angry with Jordan for voting last week for Trumpcare and said Jordan needs to defend his vote. Protestors set up a mock graveyard representing people who will die without healthcare. 

“He needs to be held accountable for what he’s saying,” said Martha Ferrazza, an Oberlin resident who attended a Tuesday “die-in” protest outside Jordan’s Norwalk office. 

While Jordan has held only one town hall meeting this year, that hasn’t stopped Trumpcare opponents from challenging him. About 200 people confronted Jordan on Feb. 20 when he appeared at the Warren G. Harding Home in Marion for a President’s Day visit. Jordan was roundly booed when he said guaranteeing health care for all “creates a perverse incentive.”

Jordan, a founder of the ultraconservative, nearly 35-member House Freedom Caucus, initially voted against Trumpcare because it wasn’t conservative enough. Jordan and fellow Republicans have been dogged by constituents demanding they hold town halls to defend their votes. According to the liberal Town Hall project, as of last week, less than a dozen of the 217 House Republicans who voted for Trumpcare have scheduled town hall meetings since the vote.

Some constituents have printed mock milk cartons with their representative’s face in a parody of missing children milk cartons. Others have held “die-ins” outside their representatives’ district offices.

Lynch said Jordan isn’t going to Oberlin Friday because constituent’s there know his stance and he knows their position. Nonetheless, Lynch said Jordan is open to dialogue and meetings. He urged constituents to email Jordan by clicking on the email or meetings tabs on Jordan’s website. The address is jordan.house.gov.

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