Idaho lawmaker booed, jeered on health care quip; lawmaker respo - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho lawmaker booed, jeered on health care quip; lawmaker responds

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Photo: RepLabrador/YouTube Photo: RepLabrador/YouTube
LEWISTON, Idaho -

House Republicans are already feeling some backlash from American voters resulting from last Thursday's vote.
    
Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho drew sharp criticism and booing at a town hall Friday for his response to an attendee who expressed worry that the House bill would hurt Medicaid recipients.
    
The woman in Lewiston said: "You are mandating people on Medicaid to accept dying."
    
Labrador, who is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, responded: "That line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care."
    
The auditorium immediately erupted in loud boos, jeers and gasps, according to the Idaho Statesman, and his remarks quickly went viral on social media.

On Saturday Labrador responded to the video, saying the media focused on a five second clip taken out of context. His statement can be read below:

During ten hours of town halls, one of my answers about health care wasn’t very elegant. I was responding to a false notion that the Republican health care plan will cause people to die in the streets, which I completely reject.

In a lengthy exchange with a constituent, I explained to her that Obamacare has failed the vast majority of Americans. In the five-second clip that the media is focusing on, I was trying to explain that all hospitals are required by law to treat patients in need of emergency care regardless of their ability to pay and that the Republican plan does not change that.

The reason I held four towns halls in Idaho was to have an honest and frank discussion with my constituents about important issues. It certainly doesn’t help that the media is only highlighting a five-second video, instead of the entire exchange. Here is the link to the full exchange from Friday’s town hall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOZB6ZZZoWs&feature=youtu.be

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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