A group of about 10 protestors went to Sen. Bob Corker’s Chattanooga office Thursday afternoon in an effort to talk to him or staff members about health care.
The group is also asking that Corker and Sen. Lamar Alexander attend a Saturday town hall meeting from 4 to 5:30 at The Public Library to hear from constituents.
The local protest was one of many around the country.
Chattanoogans for Bipartisan Healthcare Solutions organized the local sit-in.
Pediatrician Dr. Brent Morris said that he was protesting in support of the Affordable Care Act, also know as Obamacare, which Republicans are working to repeal.
“I’m out here … to encourage our senators to work together … This is an everybody issue,” he said. “Health care is a human right. Our senators need to approach this as fellow humans, not politicians.”
A vote on the health care issue was originally expected before the July 4 recess but was postponed after it appeared there weren’t enough votes to pass it. Since then, senators have been working on changes to the original bill, which would have caused 22 million people to lose coverage over the next decade.
A new version of the bill is expected in coming weeks.
Corker spent much of the July 4 holiday in Tennessee with constituents and attending several events, spokeswoman Micah Johnson said via email.
He’s on vacation with his family for the rest of the week, she said.
He was in Chattanooga earlier Thursday and spoke with protestors after an event with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
“The senator has invited all Tennesseans to read the discussion draft and provide input at corker.senate.gov,” she said. “Additionally, our office has met with Tennesseans and reached out to hundreds of individuals, including patient advocacy groups, hospitals, physicians, insurers, and state health, finance and insurance officials.”
Corker has been working to make “substantial changes” to the bill’s original draft and won’t be taking a position until the legislation is final and he’s reviewed it fully, she also said.
“He will make a final decision based on whether the final legislation, on the whole, is better than what is in place today,” she said.
Click here to see what Corker said about health care on CNBC live from Chattanooga.
Alexander spokeswoman Ashton Davies said that the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee also spent time with family and visiting with constituentsover the July 4 recess.
“Sen. Alexander talks with and meets several times a week in his office with constituents to discuss issues, including how to repair the damage caused by Obamacare,” she said via email. “His staff also regularly meets with constituents and hears directly from Tennesseans about their concerns and interests.”
In his position as Senate health committee chairman, he’s also had roundtables with stakeholders to learn how to best repeal and replace Obamacare and had a hearing earlier this year about how to stabilizeindividual insurance markets, she said.
He plans to focus on how the legislation affects Tennesseans.
Watch the videos below to see what protestors said Thursday afternoon.
Updated @ 9:07 a.m. on 7/10/17 to correct a typographical error.