DICKSON CITY -- Town hall meetings across the country are drawing crowds as lawmakers meet with residents to talk about changes the Trump administration plans to make.
Wednesday night, two U.S. congressmen from our area, one Democrat, the other Republican, held their own town halls.
Democratic Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-17th District) held a gathering here in Lackawanna County, where he was met with a majority of supporters.
Republican Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th District) met with people at Shippensburg University, where protesters demanded President Trump keep the Affordable Care Act.
It was a different tone than most of the town hall meetings we've seen with lawmakers, but many in the packed room at the Dickson City borough building were in agreement with U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright.
“You know, I'm a supporter of ACA,” said Cartwright, as the room erupted into cheers and applause.
Cartwright, a Democrat, told the crowd he was firmly against President Trump's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and it's clearly what the people wanted to hear.
“I’m not pleased with how our country is going under the Trump administration,” said Judy Senkow from Dickson City. “I'm concerned for our senior citizens, with social security, with the under-insured, with the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”
Town hall meetings have been turning contentious with protesters lashing out at their lawmakers, in particular Republican ones, as there is anger over the Trump administration's plans for the country.
“It seems like most of the folks that have been showing up at town halls across the country are talking the healthcare law and whether it's going to be repealed and what the replacement is going to be,” said Cartwright.
“For example, Paul Ryan, his plan for Medicare is to turn it into a voucher system. That will destroy it over time because the funding those vouchers down the road will never keep up with costs,” said Jim Shuta from Dickson City.
Lackawanna County is predominantly Democrat and many here are supporters of Cartwright.
But not all.
Cartwright did field a question from Lackawanna County Commissioner Laureen Cummings, who is a Republican.
“’What is holding up repeal of ACA?’ Cartwright said as he read her written question. “I think there is a reticence there.”
While Cartwright is against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, he does believe the plan needs to be re-worked, admitting there are flaws in ACA.
Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Lou Barletta participated in a town hall meeting Wednesday evening at Shippensburg University.
The atmosphere inside the forum was calm, although some constituents turned out in support of the Affordable Care Act.
Outside the town hall meeting about three dozen protesters picketed against Barletta and President Trump.