Local 'health care for all' town hall meeting urges no repeal of ACA

Members of congress have been holding town halls across the country but not here in the mountains.

Monday night at Highland Brewing Company, a newly formed citizens group, Health Care CPR, held its own town hall meeting to discuss what happens if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

During the first hour speakers, all involved in health care in some capacity, addressed the crowd of about 200 people. The second hour was open to public comment.

Topics discussed before the public ranged from health insurance after the repeal of the ACA to the coverage gap and even legal issues if it's revealed.

Everyone who attended this town hall meeting was against its repeal, saying "health care is a basic right for all."

Several people got up and shared their stories to prove a point of how vital the ACA is to them and many others.

"What they want to do right now is go back to 45,000 deaths a year. One every 12 minutes," Leslie Boyd, of Candler, said. "That's what they want to do, and they're calling themselves pro-life. We need to call them out on that. They're not!"

Boyd's story of losing her son because he could not afford a colonoscopy was one of many stories told at the meeting.

"(My son) had cancer, and it was Stage 3 before it was ever discovered. There was no excuse for that," Boyd said. "And now, nine years later, I'm left without my child."

Some were survival stories about how the ACA saved their saves.

"I feel really grateful. I feel grateful to Pisgah Legal Services, and I feel grateful that I'm alive and that I have health insurance," Christopher Fielden, of Swannanoa, said.

"ACA has been a lifesaver for us. The stress of thinking about being uninsured is heavy," Kelley Johnson, of Asheville, said.

Health Care CPR invited Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC 11th District) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC 10th District) to the town hall meeting. The group said McHenry's office declined the invitation and Meadows' office did not respond.

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