Byrne’s next stop is a senior center in Grove Hill where he fields questions about infrastructure, drugs, veterans, budget and the wall.
But there, and everywhere, really, health care comes up again and again.
“Don’t repeal and replace,” one man said.
“But I have heard from a large number of people in my district that they have been hurt by the Affordable Care Act,” Byrne said.
Unlike some of his colleagues, Byrne does not believe that the Democrats challenging him at town halls are coming from out of state.
“They’re all local people. In some cases I know them and I know them pretty well,” Byrne said.
His final stop is half an hour away in Wagarville.
“You’re a congressman. I mean, health care is not a concern for you,” one man said to Byrne.
“Yeah, it is,” Byrne responded.
“I mean, but not as it is to me!”
Byrne insists the GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan will be an improvement.
“The ACA insurance exchanges are imploding,” Byrne said.
Among the messages he heard that day, there were some that stood out to Byrne.
“Listen to what that young man said at the very end there. ‘When are y’all going to get to work?’ OK? I think that was probably the strongest message I heard all day, let’s get to work,” Byrne said.
Byrne told his constituents he’s skeptical about talk of consensus growing around a new version of the Republican plan that would eliminate some of the protections for people with preexisting conditions. Preexisting conditions was the number one topic we heard from constituents all day.