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Republican Rep. Mike Coffman snuck out of a community event early after only meeting with a portion of the unhappy constituents. (Screenshot: Nelson Garcia/NBC 9/Twitter)

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman snuck out of a community event early after only meeting with a portion of the unhappy constituents. (Screenshot: Nelson Garcia/NBC 9/Twitter)

Overwhelmed by Voters Angry About ACA Repeal, GOP Rep Sneaks Out Backdoor

While police put up crime scene tape allowing Rep. Mike Coffman to flee the library, voters broke into a chorus of 'This Land is Your Land'

Lauren McCauley

One day after voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a Republican Congressman in Colorado was caught sneaking out the backdoor of a community meeting on Saturday after being overwhelmed by constituents concerned over the future of their healthcare.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman had invited Colorado voters to the Aurora Central Library in suburban Denver to meet "one-on-one" with the lawmaker and "discuss the issues that are important to them."

However, with the meeting scheduled one day after Coffman voted in favor of a budget resolution that paves the way for ACA repeal and co-authored a Denver Post op-ed defending the move, the congressman was apparently overwhelmed by hundreds of constituents who wanted answers regarding the healthcare cuts.

According to reporting, people were kept in a waiting area while only four at a time were allowed to meet with the representative. After Coffman spoke with roughly 70 individuals, he reportedly snuck out the back door.

Coffman's exit marked a very literal exemplification of the critique that the Republican party is simply going to "repeal and run," as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) has put it, rather than work to improve healthcare for millions of Americans.

Krondia Siebert told local News 9 that she "just wanted Coffman to hear her concerns," the outlet reported. "But, she ended up trying to organize the crowd that gathered outside the large community room," which eventually broke into a chorus of "This Land is Your Land."

"The Representative didn't have a plan. They expected just a small handful of people to show up," Siebert said. "We were under the understanding it was a town hall meeting and they were only allowing four people in at a time."

News 9's Nelson Garcia reported: "While the crowd was waiting inside the lobby, singing and chanting, Aurora Police officers are putting up crime scene tape to create a perimeter outside of the library. This allowed Coffman to leave secretly at about 3:24p.m. unbeknownst to those still waiting to see him. The community event was scheduled from 2:00p.m. to 3:30p.m." 

Auraro resident Stephanie Brook Chavez said that the group was "told at one point everyone would get their time and then he sneaks out six minutes early. I think he couldn't handle it."

Given that the vast majority of Americans oppose dismantling Obamacare "until the details of a replacement have been announced," as a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found, Coffman will likely not be the last Republican to face an unhappy electorate. An estimated 20 million people are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage.

On Sunday, voters across the nation rallied against the GOP assault on health safety net programs, including ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as Planned Parenthood.


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