This is why most Republican members of Congress are refusing to hold town hall meetings this summer — they don't want to face explosive anger of health care.
He might represent the reddest, most conservative district in the state of Georgia, but even Republican Rep. Doug Collins couldn’t escape the public wrath surrounding the GOP’s attempt to repeal Obamacare.
At a town hall meeting during the August recess this week, Collins was chastised, confronted, and occasionally shouted down for nearly 80 minutes by an overflow crowd as the congressman tried to defend his support to dismantle health care coverage under Obamacare.
The Gainesville Times newspaper describes Collins’ district as “the most conservative in Georgia and one of the most conservative in the country.”
The town hall meeting ended in dramatic fashion when a local voter, Marisa Pyle, stood up and unfurled a sign that read “Collins Voted To Kill Me.” The sign was seized by local law enforcement and she was led out of the town hall. Other health care protesters in attendance then walked out in solidarity with Pyle, chanting “resist.”
Collins’ office gave just 48 hours advance notice for the meeting. Nonetheless, he ran into a wall of resistance when his very first defense for repealing Obamacare — and taking away coverage from nearly 20 million people — was met “with a wave of jeers,” according to one local account.
“Shame!” yelled one. “You’re killing people,” was another. “Why do you want to kill my dad? He’s a cancer survivor,” said a third.
With the room mostly cleared out, Collins assured his remaining supporters, “I do not believe evil on anyone who was here who disagrees with me and I would pray they would not believe evil on me because I disagree with them.”
Across the country, fewer than 40 Republican members of the House have agreed to hold town hall meetings over the August recess, according to the Town Hall Project. Most are refusing to show likely because of their collective fear of meeting crowds of angry voters furious over health care.
A new poll documents just how widely unpopular the GOP push has become. In a country that’s bitterly divided by partisan lines, nearly six in ten are happy Republicans in the Senate failed to pass their “skinny repeal” bill last month.
Eight in ten disapprove of White House attempts to sabotage Obamacare, while eight in ten also think Trump should do what he can to make the current health care law work.