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Most vulnerable Republican senator kicks stage 4 cancer patient out of town hall

On Saturday morning, millions of Americans awoke to the news that Senate Republicans had passed a historically unpopular bill that raises taxes on 87 million working families, hands billionaires and corporations massive giveaways, and undermines the existing health care system. They passed the scheme in the dead of night, leaving most Americans in the dark about […]

By Caroline Orr - December 02, 2017
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Laura Packard
Laura Packard, who has stage 4 cancer, pleads for help from Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller

On Saturday morning, millions of Americans awoke to the news that Senate Republicans had passed a historically unpopular bill that raises taxes on 87 million working families, hands billionaires and corporations massive giveaways, and undermines the existing health care system.

They passed the scheme in the dead of night, leaving most Americans in the dark about what was going on in the halls of Congress.

Among those who woke up to hear the news was Laura Packard, a stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patient and fierce opponent of the GOP’s ongoing efforts to dismantle Obamacare.

Naturally, Packard was distraught when she caught wind of the tax scam bill’s passage. With nowhere else to turn, she headed to her local senator’s town hall to demand answers about the nearly 500 page bill that Republicans snuck through the Senate while most of us were sleeping.

But instead of getting answers, Packard got kicked out.

“Sen. Dean Heller’s goons threatened me before the event even started. Then he read my question from the stage, so I stood up to add to it. This is what happened next,” Packard tweeted on Saturday.

The video below shows her being escorted out of the room by two men when she tried to question Heller about the tax scheme’s impact on health care.

“This guy ‘Bob’ refuses to give me his name. He pulled me aside from my seat in Sen. Dean Heller’s town hall and warned me about ‘making a disturbance,'” Packard wrote.

“Why,” she asked, “is Sen. Dean Heller so afraid of a stage 4 cancer patient?”

Perhaps Heller is afraid of Packard because he knows he is the most vulnerable Republican senator in the country — and that he just voted for a bill that he can’t even defend.

Besides massive tax giveaways for the wealthiest Americans, the GOP tax scheme also jeopardizes recent advances in health care and insurance.

Among other things, it guts Obamacare’s individual mandate — a move that will result in 13 million more uninsured Americans over the next 10 years — and is projected to trigger a $25 billion annual cut to Medicare, including cuts to cancer care for Americans covered by Medicare.

The last time Medicare faced such a cut due to the 2013 budget sequester, patients literally died because they were denied chemotherapy.

And now, Republicans are poised to do it all over again — and they can’t even face the questions from their constituents whose lives are hanging in the balance.


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