A tearful mom’s Facebook Live account of being kicked out of U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry’s Gaston County office building over his vote to repeal Obamacare has gone viral.
Julie Anderson began streaming her story on the morning of May 5, as she was being escorted by a sheriff’s deputy from the Gaston County administrative building where the Republican has a field office. McHenry’s office denies that his staff asked that Anderson be removed.
The video, which includes some raw language, has received 4.8 million views and been shared 105,000 times.
McHenry was among the 217 House Republicans who voted May 4 to repeal major parts of Democrat Barack Obama’s health care law.
Critics of the House repeal bill say it could leave millions of people with preexisting medical conditions unable to afford insurance. Republican leaders insist pre-existing conditions are covered in the bill.
Anderson says her young daughter needs medication that carries out-of-pocket costs of $12,000 a month. She could not be reached Friday, but told the Gaston Gazette that her daughter has a complex liver issue and said she believes the pre-existing conditions provision in Obamacare saved her child’s life.
“Making my child uninsurable for something that’s not her fault is not OK,” she says in the video.
Cradling a young girl in her arm, Anderson says in the video that she did not raise her voice but was ordered to leave the building after McHenry’s staff called police. The Gaston County Sheriff’s Office told the Gaston Gazette that an officer responded to reports of someone in the congressman’s district office yelling and swearing.
“I told McHenry’s office I thought that (vote) was some bull****, and I took him a picture of Loretta and let him know that was the kid that he voted to let die last night,” Anderson says as she walks to her car.
McHenry’s communications director said by email that the congressman’s staff didn’t ask that Anderson be removed.
“The individual’s removal from the Gaston County Administration Building – where the congressman’s office is housed – was initiated by the on-duty Gaston County sheriff’s deputy stationed at the building,” McHenry spokesman Jeff Butler wrote. “It was not requested by the congressman’s staff. Any questions about the individual’s removal should be referred to the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office.”
Tears well as Anderson continues in the video, vowing to visit U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s office as the Senate takes up Obamacare’s repeal after the House vote. Anderson told the Gazette her husband, who is in the military, volunteered to be deployed overseas to get better health insurance for their children.
“I’m not willing to let my kid die because I don’t have money,” she says in the video. “There are thousands of people like me who are watching their kids get sicker and sicker and we can’t do anything about it. And people are actively working against us to let our kids just be sick because they’re a drain on the system, because Medicare and Medicaid are too expensive. They can send people to wars but they can’t fix sick kids at home.”
Researcher Maria David contributed.