Protesters rally over healthcare outside Faso's office

May 26, 2017 11:37 AM

KINDERHOOK – Protestors gathered outside Rep. John Faso’s office in Kinderhook Thursday evening, looking to shame him about his health care vote.

The group of more than a dozen re-enacted a scene right out of “Game of Thrones.” The protest may have been using a fictional show as inspiration, but protestors say they were making a very real point.

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Protestors walked through the rain, calling attention to Faso’s vote on health care.

“There is a lot of real anger and a lot of people really are venting and really are wanting to direct shame at [Faso],” said Shelley Eshkar, who protested Thursday.

The protestors got the idea for the demonstration from HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” specifically the “walk of atonement” scene. Instead of throwing vegetables and raw meat, they stuck grievances to the fake Faso’s cloak.

“Pinned to my body here are all the ways that District 19 is going to be hurt by this latest policy and by Faso's latest votes,” said Eshkar.

Some protestors were out because they said the American Health Care Act would force them to choose between medicine or other expenses.

“My prescription, without insurance, without the Affordable Care Act, is $215 a month,” said Matthew Fluty, another protestor. “That’s half my rent.”

Others were protesting the cuts made to organizations like Planned Parenthood.

“Eight thousand of Congressman John Faso's constituents who come to Planned Parenthood every year for services whether they be preventive services or otherwise would not be able to receive services from Planned Parenthood anymore,” said Nicole Carvalho of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood.

Faso released a statement on the Congressional Budget Office scoring the of the AHCA, saying, "The CBO has again confirmed that the AHCA lowers premiums and reduces the deficit. Unfortunately, media outlets are misleading the public by uncritically reporting that 23 million would lose coverage. It’s not true and relies on flawed reasoning. The CBO also ignores the fact that the ACA exchanges are unraveling in many parts of the nation. The key in my mind is to lower premiums and deductibles while maintaining protections for those with pre-existing conditions. I expect the Senate to improve on the House-passed bill on both counts and I look forward to continuing to work to improve the health insurance system for all Americans."

A spokesman for Rep. Elise Stefanik, who also voted in favor of the AHCA, released a statement, saying, "Congresswoman Stefanik is encouraged that the CBO has found this legislation will lower taxes, reduce our deficits and lower premiums. Congresswoman Stefanik fought to add language to ensure Members of Congress live by the same rules as everyone else under this legislation. She also fought to have $15 billion added for maternity care and worked to support our county governments by adding language to reduce the burdensome Medicaid mandate that crushes their budgets. We will continue to work with the Senate to improve this legislation and build a healthcare system that lowers costs, improves quality and increases access for North Country families."


WNYT Staff

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