The day after he voted to pass a sweeping tax reform that, among other things, could eliminate Obamacare’s individual mandate and make a lot of already wealthy people richer, Republican Sen. Dean Heller from Nevada held a public forum in Las Vegas.
There, he was confronted with a lot of questions about taxes and why he had decided to support the nearly 500–page overhaul, which was hastily thrown together behind closed doors by lobbyists working late into the night.
Passage of the Republican tax plan means that 13 million people could lose health insurance over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and $25 billion could be cut from Medicare. Lots of cancer patients rely on Medicare for treatment.
Laura Packard, who has stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is covered under the Affordable Care Act, was concerned about the impact of Republican efforts to dismantle Obamacare and overhaul the tax system. For Packard, the issue is personal.
So, after Heller read a question Packard had submitted, she stood up to ask the senator to clarify his answers.
“Why are you voting for me to lose my health care? Without it I will die,” Packard said.
And for that, she was booted from the forum by members of a security detail. A video of the exchange was shared Saturday on Twitter by a group called Battle Born Progress.
In her own tweets about the incident, Packard, who also has a broken rib, said Heller’s “goons” had “threatened” her before the event started.
Packard wasn’t the only one thrown out of the forum. According to NBC 3 News Las Vegas, 10 people were removed “and some derogatory comments were vented.”
Another video shows constituents being ejected after asking the senator if he had actually read the bill before voting in favor of it:
Needless to say, Packard’s removal didn’t go over well with her friends and fellow constituents.