Prayer Vigil Turns Up Heat On Rep. Paulsen For Health Care Vote
Video by Bill Sorem; Text by Michael McIntee and Bill Sorem
Constituents aren’t going to let Rep. Erik Paulsen soon forget his vote for the Republican health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act. The latest in a string of protests outside Paulsen’s office had a religious tone. On Thursday ISAIAH (a multi-demoninational religious group) held a prayer vigil for Minnesota families “outraged and endangered by Representative Paulsen’s vote.”
The group gathered outside in the parking lot and then marched up to his Eden Prairie office. They were met by an assistant who informed the group that Paulsen wasn’t there. The Uptake was ordered to leave because the assistant said no cameras are allowed in the office.
The group met at Paulsen’s office to express their outrage that Paulsen voted for a “vicious and inhuman health care bill, which if it becomes law, will take health care from more than 24 million people, including tens of thousands of Paulsen’s constituents.”
An estimated 52% of Paulsen’s constituents have pre-existing conditions that would be seriously affected if the AHCA becomes law.
Clergy and leaders from across Minnesota’s Third Congressional District prayed for their loved ones, whose lives they say have been endangered by Paulsen’s vote for the AHCA.
The group says if the AHCA becomes law, people with pre-existing conditions will be shunted into high risk pools without adequate funding or protections to cover their care; seniors and low-income families will lose access to life-saving coverage from the Medicaid expansion; and people with chronic illnesses will once again face lifetime caps on coverage.
Clergy, faith and community leaders say Paulsen’s vote gives the wealthiest Americans a $342 billion tax cut at the expense of healthcare policies that protect the lives of tens of thousands of his constituents.