Rep. Bonamici holds town hall in Portland, covers concerns over new health care bill

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici addresses a crowd at Portland's Lincoln High School

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici held a town hall Sunday at Lincoln High School, and much like discussions hosted by fellow state elected officials, the hot topic was health care.

Rep. Bonamici started off talking about the Obamacare replacement bill, called the American Health Care Act, that narrowly passed the house last week.

“We had a flood of phone calls and emails last week. I asked my staff, ‘were they in support of the bill or opposed to the bill?’ And in terms of numbers we had 988 people opposed and 13 for. So that shows you how concerned people are about this bill,” Bonamici said.

She said the bill is especially bad for seniors, who could see a significant increase in coverage costs. She also spent time talking over the much-talked-about "pre-existing condition" provision.

Under the bill, insurance companies may be able to put limits on certain treatments, depending on the state. States can also opt to no longer require insurers to cover emergency and preventative care.

The bill now moves on to the Senate, where Republicans say they will take up the issue and write their own bill.

“It was pushed through without a single hearing,” Bonamici said. “Basically no input from stakeholders. It was just a rushed process on something that is this critical.”

Rep. Bonamici said she's also hearing concerns from her constituents that deal with ethics in the current presidential administration, immigration, and workplace rights.

Bonamici mentioned the level of fear that's been created in our immigrant communities is unacceptable. She said she is working on a law to prevent the department of homeland security from going after immigrants in places like schools, courts and houses of worship.

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