Protesters gather outside Rep. Bost's office in support of ACA

Source: Rep. Mike Bost
Source: Rep. Mike Bost

Nearly one-hundred people appeared in protest at republican congressman Michael Bost's Carbondale office on Tuesday, February 21.

The protesters voiced their support of the Affordable Care Act, and requested a town hall meeting with the congressman.

In a statement from protest organizers, the protest was intended as an opportunity for concerned parties to voice their opinion for the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

"With Republicans still plotting their vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Illinoisans plan to voice their concerns for Congressional action that would take away health care from more than one million residents, send health care costs through the roof, and put health insurance companies back in control of people's health care."

The ACA (also known as “Obamacare”) was enacted by former President Barack Obama, and while protesters argue the move made healthcare more accessible to lower income families, Rep. Bost described it as a program that required overhaul.

"Under Obamacare, Southern Illinois has seen premiums skyrocket and insurance choices dwindle." Rep. Bost said in an email. "We must do better.  That's why I want to increase access to afforable health care by expanding Health Savings Accounts, increasing competition among insurers, and ensuring coverage for those with pre-existing conditions."

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Upon questioning in an email conversation with KFVS-TV, Rep. Bost did not definitively comment on whether or not he would vote yes or no on a repeal/overhaul of the ACA.

The congressman also would not comment on the fate of any Illinois residents who may lose insurance as a result of a repeal.

Although Rep. Bost did not specifically agree to host a town hall meeting as requested by protesters, he did express support for their expression

"I understand that there are heartfelt disagreements on both sides of this issue and welcome and encourage this conversation.  Whether you're Republican, Democrat or Independent, everyone's input is valid and helps shape our agenda in Congress."

Halfway through the demonstration, Carbondale police Sgt. Amber Ronketto said owners of the Hunter Building requested police assistance on the property.

Protesters were asked by Carbondale officers to leave the parking lot where the protest began, which was private property.

Protesters peacefully obliged.

Ronketto says they allowed the protest to continue on the publicly-owned sidewalk in front of the building, despite the fact that a formal petition for a public demonstration had not been filed with the city.

No arrests, or other infractions were reported.

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