BOISE - Idaho's Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson faced roughly 100 protesters while speaking at a health care conference in Boise.
Demonstrators held signs and chanted "This is what Democracy looks like" Monday outside while Simpson spoke to health care officials, insurance providers and educators inside during the Idaho Health Care Summit.
Simpson spoke about the state of health care in the U.S. and his vote that helped the American Health Care Act pass the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month.
The protesters shared stories and expressed concerns about the possibility of losing health benefits if the American Health Care Act becomes law.
Some said if the bill passes the Senate, they will be without health care options all together.
Protestors told KTVB they feel their voice represents more Idahoans than not.
Inside the Boise Centre, Simpson spoke to a full room about changing health care, saying the first step is to repeal and replace Obamacare.
While Simpson voted in favor of the American Health Care Act, he admits it's not perfect.
But Simson added the bill has good pieces in it that make it a step in the right direction.
"We want it to be run by the states, we want to have freedom, we want people to have choices, we don't want to mandate you have to have health care coverage that's up to you,” said Simpson. “No matter how low you drive the prices, there is going to be some people that can't afford health care, so there is assistance in there for those people, that’s what we want more than anything else.”
While speaking to the crowd at the Idaho Health Care Summit, Simpson said that if he knew for a fact that the health care bill that he voted for would become law, then he wouldn't have voted for it.
He says that he sees issues with the bill, but that again, it is a good first step toward something new.
His adds his vote is for progress, not the exact bill that passed the House.
Fellow Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador made headlines across the country earlier this month for his comments on health care saying "nobody dies because they don't have access to health care."
We asked Simpson for his reaction to Labrador’s remark.
"Kinda a stupid thing to say," Simpson replied.
Labrador later clarified that comment saying he was trying to explain that all hospitals are required by law to treat patients in need of emergency care, regardless of a person's ability to pay, and that the Republican plan does not change that.
When asked about criticism from protestors about the health care bill not covering pre-existing conditions, Simpson said any objections to it right now are premature because the idea that the bill doesn't cover pre-existing conditions is a myth.
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