By Tom Kiskin Appeared Originally On Ventura County Star
More than 200 people filled every inch of a library conference room in Camarillo, standing in doorways and lined up four deep in the back.
Some carried signs to a Tuesday night town hall meeting held by U.S Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village. “Patients Over Politics,” said a placard at the back of a gathering that at times became a rally for an Affordable Care Act that Republicans have pledged to repeal.
A few people wore pink cat hats.
“This seems like a crowd that’s all on the same page,” Brownley said.
But when a different speaker asked if anyone thought their health care could improve without the system known as Obamacare, at least two people raised their hands. Then one woman, who later identified herself as a Donald Trump supporter, noted that she was a constituent of Brownley like everyone else and asked for respect. Another audience member responded by loudly demanding the new president show people respect.
Aside from a few heated exchanges, the event revolved around concern that repealing the Affordable Care Act will mean less care.
“We want greater access, not less,” Brownley said
Other speakers called for more details on the Republican plan to replace the current system.
One speaker worried that people with pre-existing health conditions could be ushered into high-risk insurance pools in which health care could cost more.
“We were routinely spending $30,000 for health care,” said Deborah Madden, of Westlake Village, who has a son with Type 1 diabetes, thinking of the days before the Affordable Care Act. She said the health system can be improved but worried that its elimination could hurt her son and others.
“Health care is a human right, not a political issue,” she said.
Dr. Kathleen Shore, of Ventura, came in her white physician’s coat, complete with a stethoscope. She’s a family-practice doctor affiliated with a county-run safety net system. She worried that repeal will mean people losing coverage and care.
“I can tell you story after story of people who have suffered from not having primary care,” she said.
Another man called for a single-payer health care system. His request drew a standing ovation.
Deborah Baber Savalla wore a hoodie emblazoned with the name, “Trump.” At one point, she told the crowd she didn’t feel welcome, leading another person to tell her she wasn’t. Another person then came to offer Savalla a hug.
After the meeting, Savalla said she came looking for information.
“I truly wanted to know what her position was,” she said of Brownley.