U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, was still undecided, as of Thursday evening, on her vote on House Republican legislation to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care plan.
“The legislation is still being finalized and she is waiting to review the final text that is passed through all committees and negotiated by Congress and the White House,” said Tom Flanagin, the congresswoman’s spokesman.
House leaders had scheduled a vote on the legislation Thursday, but delayed the vote as negotiation on final details continued.
Participants in a demonstration outside Stefanik’s Glens Falls district office on Thursday had mixed reactions to the delay in voting.
“I feel very hopeful that maybe our representatives will put the needs of the people first,” said Mimi Phillips of Saratoga Springs, who was among more than 60 demonstrators voicing opposition to the Republican plan.
A coalition of organizations, including MoveOn.org, Citizen Action of New York and Indivisible, organized the demonstration.
Beth Shropshire of Glens Falls said delaying the vote merely dragged out the inevitable.
Shropshire said members of Congress should begin talking seriously about a “single-payer health care,” such as opening the federal Medicare program for the elderly and disabled to everyone.
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Shropshire said Hudson Headwater Health Network already operates a modern community health system that could be integrated into a single-payer system.
“We have a lot of things in place already,” she said.
Demonstrators on Thursday chanted, “Health care, not wealth care,” and, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, don’t replace the ACA,” which stands for the Affordable Care Act, the formal name of Obama’s health-care plan.
At one point, many of the demonstrators laid down on the sidewalk and held cardboard tombstones in front of their faces to dramatize a mass death.
Joe Seeman, one of the organizers, said the “die in” symbolized people that will die if they do not receive necessary health care.
Some demonstrators remained standing.
“I didn’t bring a blanket, so I’m probably going to stay on my feet,” said Phillips, the demonstrator from Saratoga Springs.