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Video: Gus Bilirakis hears (loudly) about the Affordable Care Act at town hall meeting

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

In the summer of 2009, Democrats heard angrily from Tea Party members about the Affordable Care Act, which President Obama ultimately signed into law in 2010.

Eight years later, it appears Republicans are facing similar heat at their town halls when it comes to repealing the ACA.

Saturday morning in Palm Harbor, Congressman Gus Bilirakis heard clearly (and loudly) from some voters that the GOP better act very carefully regarding the potential of taking people’s health care away. Many in the audience booed the Tarpon Springs Republican throughout his nearly two-hour listening event. Only a handful of people in the room supported the repeal.

Bilirakis tell the audience he would work toward keeping some of the more popular parts of the ACA in a replacement: ensuring those with pre-existing conditions having access to health insurance and that children can stay on their parents’ policies until age 26.

Donna Davis, a founder of the Black Lives Matter Tampa group, posted a video of some of the more contentious moments meeting.  POLITICO reports that Davis later put Republicans on notice, warning she would raise an “army of opposition against him if this shit doesn’t stop.” She then accused lawmakers of “willfully” ignoring the wishes of constituents over Obamacare.

Bilirakis, who was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2016, represents Florida’s 12th Congressional District, a Republican-majority district covering much of Pasco and northern Pinellas counties. His district supported for Donald Trump in November.

In January, Bilirakis voted for a budget resolution seeking to defund and begin the process of dismantling the ACA. Although they promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, GOP lawmakers have not offered many details for a replacement of the health care law.

Check out this video, being circulated via Facebook Saturday afternoon.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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