A group of protesters gathered in front of U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall’s Salina office Thursday morning. The demonstration was in response to Marshall’s announcement that he will support efforts to replace and reform the Affordable Care Act, introduced by former President Barack Obama back in 2010.
According to Katie Sawyer, Marshall’s district director, Marshall, Republican representative for the 1st District of Kansas, announced that he would support President Donald Trump’s replacement bill to a Wichita news station while in Washington this week. Marshall’s decision comes after conversations with constituents and government officials, Sawyer said.
“Healthcare is a conversation we have been having for months in a formal capacity,” Sawyer said. “The congressman also came out of the healthcare field so this is something that he has thought about and been practicing for 30 years. Being in (Washington) D.C. has given him the chance to have more formal conversations about what this looks like.”
The gathering was put on by the Indivisible Movement, according to Christopher Renner, a demonstrator from Manhattan. About 35 people from Salina and neighboring communities came to Marshall’s office, located at 200 E Iron, to express their concern with Marshall’s support of President Trump’s bill. Renner said he expected more people to join the demonstration later in the day.
“Groups have started organizing across Kansas,” Renner said. “We are probably approaching 20 groups already. We are grassroots and we work to get people to come out and take back control of our political system, which is dominated by dark money.”
Sawyer said that they were able to prepare for the demonstration after hearing about it through a media platform two days beforehand. Sawyer and other office officials sat down with some protesters as they voiced their concerns. Participants urged Marshall to “vote no.”
“Trump is not only going to make insurance unaffordable, or unavailable to millions of people, he is also going to be giving a huge tax cut to the most affluent households,” said Stan Cox, a Salina resident.
UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, House Republican leaders postponed a vote on their health care bill in a setback for President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan.