Sen. Jerry Moran talks health care with large crowd at town hall

Sen. Jerry Moran talks health care in Lenexa
Posted at 12:47 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 13:47:23-04

About 100 concerned Kansans showed up for Sen. Jerry Moran's town hall meeting Monday morning.

Crowds were there before the doors opened at 7 a.m., some holding signs with phrases such as "Do your job."

Some of those people were critical of the American Health Care Act, narrowly passed by a Republican-led House.

Meanwhile, the Senate is the middle of building its own repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which is currently in place.

Someone in the crowd shouted at Moran, "You will buck your party?"

"If that's what is in the best interest of Kansans and Americans," said Moran.

Moran said he did not like the House version of the plan and was not in favor of it. As for the Senate version, he was undecided.

Some members of the frustrated crowd did not like that the Senate has been working on its plan behind closed doors.

"I just want to make sure he (Moran) knows how many Kansans this bill will affect. That he's willing to entertain the idea that if he votes yes he's going to take away health care for millions of people across the country," said Doug Messel, who lost his newborn earlier this year.

An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office shows the House version would leave roughly 23 million more Americans without insurance by 2026.

Funding for Medicaid would also be slashed, which pays for about half of U.S. births.

"Being a woman is not a preexisting condition. Planned Parenthood is necessary," shouted multiple voices from the crowd when women's health care issues were brought up.

Proponents of the plan, however, point out that it would cut the deficit by $119 billion over a decade.

Moran also brought up that 13 men make up the group of GOP senators who will craft the Senate health care bill.

Moran said if it were up to him they would be in open hearings and every senator would have a say.

He also said he wanted to see the Congressional Budget Office's report on the Senate's plan before making a decision.

A crowd member asked if he would withhold a vote if they did not make sessions open to the public. 

Moran said he would not do that if a bill that was best for Kansans was created in a closed session.

"I wish it was being addressed in a way different than it is. Let's see what the outcome is. I'm going to analyze the legislation, if it comes to me," said Moran.

A vote could come about in the next few weeks, but Moran was doubtful it would happen this week.