Rep. Darrell Issa skipped a town hall event organized by local groups on Wednesday, but did meet with protesters and supporters outside a district office earlier in the day.
The California Republican had been invited to a town hall event organized to pin him down on his views on the 2010 health care law, but his office said he already had a commitment, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.
But Issa did speak with the protesters for more than an hour outside his office about Republicans plans to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law.
“The fact is the Affordable Care Act has a problem, and the problem is that only sick people are signing up for the exchanges and that’s why the rates are going up so high,” he said.
Issa recently introduced the Access to Insurance for All Americans Act, which would allow people to access the same insurance as federal employees. Issa said his goal is to bring more healthy people into the market.
According to KPBS, the plan would try to drive down cost by allowing people to join a risk pool that includes nine million federal employees, their families and retirees.
Issa tweeted photos of the gathering outside his office.
Some protestors came by my office today asking for a town hall. So I came downstairs and held one - right then and there. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/keyoSIPM0E— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) February 22, 2017
Whether we agree or disagree, it's always important to be heard. Thanks to all who could come by and meet with me! (2/2) pic.twitter.com/z0tj1syu3r— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) February 22, 2017
Later, hundreds gathered for the Issa-less town hall, where a cardboard cutout of the congressman dressed like Waldo of “Where’s Waldo” shared the stage.
Issa beat Col. Doug Applegate in a tight race last year, the closest he’s had since he was elected in 2000. Applegate said he plans to run against Issa in a rematch in 2018. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting his district.