This post originally appeared on KDRV 12 (ABC) on August 9, 2017. Read the original there.
On August 9th, Caring Across Generations and partner HCAN participated in a Medicaid Day of Action with partners across the nation. The following is a story from that day.
MEDFORD, Ore.– Most protests start with signs and people standing up for what they believe in but Wednesday was different. There were signs but there was also a lot of yarn. Wednesday’s protesters performed a ‘knit-in’ in front of Representative Walden’s Medford office.
Kirby Erickson knitted a wash cloth as she protested.
“It’s a way for mostly women to gather and share a period of time where they can be constructive and yet share their thoughts and their thinking and their passion so I think it is a tool to gather people together,” said Erickson.
Wednesday’s knitting passion was healthcare. The group was knitting against repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. They were also knitting against what they feel Congressman Greg Walden represents.
“He lead the charge to you know, repeal the ACA which would have left thousands and thousands of people in his district without health care. 64,300 people in his district would have lost health care under the last proposal and that’s pretty unacceptable,” said Rebecca Pearson of Unite Oregon.
Representative Walden was in Washington, D.C. the day of the protest but that didn’t prevent the group from walking into his Medford office.
“I would like to see him say he didn’t realize how important all these issues were for people and he wasn’t going to legislate for the dollar anymore. He was going to legislate for the people. He was going to legislate for the middle class not just the upper class,” said protester Lynne Likens.
Once the group walked into the Congressman’s office, they each shared their stories about why they need the Affordable Care Act, hoping Walden would hear them.
On Wednesday, there were five protests in Oregon including the one in Medford. There was one in Salem, one in Eugene and two in Bend.
Congressman Walden commented on the various protests. He gave NewsWatch 12 the statement below:
“These latest stunts and claims are misguided and untrue. Independent fact checkers made it clear that the legislation we passed in the House guaranteed current Medicaid recipients could continue on their coverage uninterrupted. My parents relied on Medicare and Social Security, and I know how important it is to save and strengthen these programs for future generations. Today’s events are part of an organized effort designed to disrupt the work of congressional offices and attract media attention.”