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GOP health care plan draws criticism at Seattle congresswoman’s town hall meeting

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SEATTLE – Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., raised concerns over the House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, at a town hall meeting Monday night.

More than 800 people attended the forum in downtown Seattle that Jayapal hosted.

During the 90-minute question-and-answer period, Jayapal highlighted what she saw as major gaps in the Republican’s health care plan. She called the solution, a “hodge podge of different ideas put together.”

“There is no way this plan is going to cover as many people as are covered and there’s no way people are going to get the same benefits as what they have,” said Jayapal. “I would love to work with Republicans on how to improve the Affordable Care Act, but to take health care away from tens of millions in this country is simply wrong. I think they are going to hear that over and over again from their base."

Jayapal said Republicans will be vulnerable on this issue and it’s already starting to show.

“The fact that four Republican senators sent a letter saying, ‘We’re not OK with this plan, our state’s populations are going to suffer if you move this forward,’ I think that’s very significant.”

Attendees at the town hall meeting had concerns as well. Mike Davidson said that he’s concerned that insurance prices will go up, without the mandates in place requiring everyone to be covered.

“Like all insurance, you should (have) a pool of healthy and unhealthy and without a mandate you’re going to have sick and needy people forcing prices up,” said Davidson.

“It really doesn’t give us any details at all about what’s going to happen,” said Alice Brownstein, a physician in the audience. “They gave us a plan but we have no idea how many people are going to be covered and we also have no idea how much it’s going to cost.”

Jayapal told the audience she is pushing for a single payer system that provides “Medicare for all” type health care.

However, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., issued a statement Monday night praising the Republican legislation. "This is our plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a 21st century health care system that works for everyone ... our legislation is about restoring people's control over their health care."

The entire text of the bill can be viewed here.