Protesters upset with Heller about Obamacare repeal

A protester prepares to use a bullhorn to bring attention to the proposed repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

A protester prepares to use a bullhorn to bring attention to the proposed repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

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A small group of protesters expressed on Saturday their frustration with Congress and the Republicans’ agenda to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

Many protesters who numbered between 25 to 30 held signs in front of the Fallon Convention Center. They wanted to speak to Nevada U.S. Sen. Dean Heller on his position to follow party lines to replace Obamacare.

The majority of protesters arrived in Fallon on a bus with Organizing for America emblazoned on its side. Organizing for Action is a grassroots group founded in 2013 but according to its website, it is advocating the agenda of former President Obama.

“We’re not here to harass or ruin the night for the people,” said Barbara Giacomini, who came to Fallon to talk to Heller.

The protesters arrived about an hour before the annual Lincoln Day dinner. Fallon Police Department had several officers guarding the main door. The protesters, who appeared to be organized, were civil and did not cause any disruptions.

Laura Sperry of Washoe Valley, who said her political affiliation is Independent, said she, along with the other people, wanted to ask Heller why he wants to take away the healthcare from millions of residents.

“We’re targeting Republicans right now because they want to repeal and replace Obamacare,” she said.

Sperry said about 20 protesters arrived on the bus, and the others came in vehicles. She didn’t have a breakdown of home states or towns of the other protesters, and Sperry claimed she did not know the main organizer. District Attorney Art Mallory, though, said he heard from others that several protesters had come from Arizona, but others in the group said no one came from Arizona. He said the protesters exercised their First Amendment rights and were respectful.

Sperry and a small group standing next to her from the Reno area said they are tired of seeing “red” and “blue” on the issues and would like to see Congress fix healthcare, not dismantle it.

Heller did not talk to the small group of protesters when he arrived although he shook a few hands and thanked them for their support. State Sen. James Settelmeyer, though, spoke with Sperry. Although Sperry said she doesn’t agree with Settelmeyer on the issues, she thanked him for talking to her.

Several people, though, said the high premiums must decrease so healthcare does become affordable.

As the Lincoln Day dinner began, the protesters shifted their position to a side door to denounce the proposed repeal of Obamacare but left shortly afterward.

Clarifications have been made to this story since it was published.


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