WADSWORTH — Motorists on High Street saw the Grim Reaper and a banshee Wednesday outside the offices of U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, on Wednesday afternoon.
They were part of a protest by about 15 people that was organized by Medina County Together and Medina Patriotic Resistance over Renacci’s vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Organizers said they hoped to raise awareness of Renacci’s vote and would like a town hall meeting between Renacci and constituents in the district.
Brunswick resident Mary Luebke, was dressed as a banshee. In Gaelic folklore, she said, the wails of a banshee, a female spirit, warn of impending death.
“(The banshee) shows up when people die, and people are going to die from this plan,” Luebke explained.
“I got tired of feeling helpless and hopeless,” Luebke said, describing how attempts to repeal the health care law have made her feel.
The bill passed 217-213 in the U.S. House and now goes to the U.S. Senate, where members are expected to make major changes to the House version.
A spokeswoman from Renacci’s office explained the representative’s position Wednesday in an email: “Our office gets thousands of calls because in Ohio premiums have risen over 90 percent since 2013, deductibles are skyrocketing, and insurers are leaving our state.”
The email said the Affordable Care Act “is collapsing” and as a result, Renacci voted to move forward in finding a replacement plan to give Ohioans “affordable and accessible health care.”
The spokeswoman also addressed the idea of holding a town hall meeting.
“Our staff have told the protesters many times to come into our office and have a face-to-face meeting with Congressman Renacci” and the protesters have said no, they would rather have a town hall, the email said.
The spokeswoman said Renacci “feels that a room of people yelling” is not productive, so he has an open-door policy to discuss “issues directly.”
Luebke, a member of Medina County Together, said she decided the protest was a way to communicate with others who share her beliefs.
Referring to the House bill as “Trump Care,” Luebke said that generally people do not want one version of health care.
She said that President Barack Obama’s health care plan wasn’t perfect, but she believes it is the best plan the country has seen “in years.”
Luebke works as an oncologist nurse. She said she is concerned about coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
“Since when is being a woman a pre-existing condition?” she asked.
She noted that lawmakers “want to defund Planned Parenthood” as well as other groups and agencies that offer assistance to women. She said it causes her to ask, “Why?”
She said she never protested anything before Wednesday.
“I couldn’t sit still any longer.”
Contact reporter Ashley Fox at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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