The Dallas Morning News

Barton offers health care assurances

In Corsicana, Barton gets an earful on health insurance law

- By GROMER JEFFERS JR. Political Writer gjeffers@dallasnews.com

At a town hall meeting in Corsicana, Rep. Joe Barton offers some assurances that an eventual health care overhaul will keep popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

CORSICANA — Rep. Joe Barton said Tuesday he was hopeful that Republican­s would eventually approve a health care plan that brings down costs but retains some of the popular provisions in the existing Affordable Care Act.

“Hopefully, we will bring the health care bill back up and pass it,” the Arlington Republican told about 50 people at a town hall meeting in Corsicana.

That seemed to somewhat mollify some in the crowd. Developing a new health care policy was the central issue at the meeting, where Barton encountere­d mostly friendly faces.

He told the crowd some of the existing law would remain, like protection­s for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Barton is vice chairman on the House Energy and Commerce Committee that oversees portions of the health care overhaul.

“I want to make sure we get it right,” a Corsicana woman told Barton. “Do it right. Get it done.”

Another man, Doc Hubbard of Corsicana, wasn’t so diplomatic. He said he was frustrated that Republican­s have not repealed and replaced Obamacare.

“Why can’t you guys compromise?” he asked. “I expect to get screwed by Democrats. I don’t want to hear it from my own party.”

The Corsicana event was the first of several meetings Barton is having in the next week. On Thursday he holds a town hall meeting in Mansfield. And next week he’ll meet constituen­ts in Waxahachie.

The Ennis Republican has already had two town hall meetings.

But critics say Barton is not making it easy. Tuesday’s meeting was 1:30 p.m., when most people are at work.

Unlike the recent town hall meetings held by Republican Reps. Pete Sessions of Dallas and Michael Burgess of Flower Mound, Barton avoided having his event packed by Democrats and the Indivisibl­e Movement against President Donald Trump.

But even friendly faces were concerned about the gridlock in Washington, as well as the speed in which the GOP tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Hopefully they will take more than 17 days to pass a law that will impact so many Americans,” said Mark Archibald of Corsicana. “I want them to get things done right.”

 ?? Photos by Jae S. Lee/Staff Photograph­er ?? Harry Phillips (right) talked with Barton after a town hall meeting in Corsicana on Tuesday. During the meeting, Barton said: “Hopefully, we will bring the health care bill back up and pass it.”
Photos by Jae S. Lee/Staff Photograph­er Harry Phillips (right) talked with Barton after a town hall meeting in Corsicana on Tuesday. During the meeting, Barton said: “Hopefully, we will bring the health care bill back up and pass it.”
 ??  ?? Liz Smith was among about 50 people at Rep. Joe Barton’s meeting Tuesday.
Liz Smith was among about 50 people at Rep. Joe Barton’s meeting Tuesday.

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