- Associated Press - Thursday, February 23, 2017

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - A sometimes hostile crowd peppered Iowa Rep. David Young on Thursday with questions about replacing the Affordable Care Act, his stance on President Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments and other issues at a public forum in Urbandale.

House and Senate members from across the country have faced skeptical crowds while home during a congressional break, and that was the case when Young took questions for more than an hour at an event packed with about 400 people.

“It’s important for me to listen,” Young said. “Because there’s a lot going on.”

The congressman faced jeers and shouting as he admitted the symbolism behind his previous vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He said he no longer supports repealing the law without a replacement and noted a Republican plan is still in works.

Jordan Hobfoll, of Des Moines, asked the two-term Republican if a new plan would keep health care affordable for his 1-year-old son, Ronan, who was born with a serious health problem.

The crowd booed Young as he sidestepped giving “a definite answer” but said the boy wouldn’t be denied care.

Hobfoll said that answer didn’t satisfy him, and that he wants Republicans to commit to a plan that is affordable for people with pre-existing conditions, not merely accessible.

“I will continue to push him and get people in the community together to push him to say it’s not enough,” Hobfoll said. “We need to have those pieces of the Affordable Care Act.”

Kay Marcel, an Urbandale mother of a son with down syndrome, felt similarly about keeping health care costs low. She asked the congressman if he would oppose block grants, which would provide states a fixed amount of money for specific groups, like people with disabilities.

Young said block grants would be a last resort and noted his general support for affordable access to quality health care.

“I will share that with my fellow Republicans,” he said. “They know where I stand on this issue. I’ll be eager to hear what they learned in their town halls, the ones who are doing them. But I realize Iowans have been helped through this law. I’m fully conscious of that.”

During the forum, Young also called on Trump to release his tax returns, expressed doubt over the proposed price tag for a Mexican border wall and promised constituents he would raise questions about Trump’s use of Air Force One in campaign events.

“I think it’s important to speak up and speak out or speak to one another when you don’t agree with something,” he said. “I’ve had disagreements on what the president has said before about Hispanics and about religious litmus tests, and I’ve spoken out against those things publicly, and when they come again, I will continue to do that.”


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