Residents of Congressional District 26 gathered outside of Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s office on Thursday morning for a “Welcome Home” rally now that the representative has returned to South Florida for the August recess.
The organizers of the rally said Curbelo, a Republican, has been evading their requests to host and attend a town hall on the health care needs of the district.
Lucia Huete Suarez, with the West Kendall Democrats, says she calls Curbelo’s office every day to try to schedule a meeting. “That’s what I want, to see him face-to-face,” she said. “And I don’t wanna hear or get emails or video on Facebook, I wanna see his face.”
The protesters wanted to know why Curbelo voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act when his district -- which includes all of the Keys and portions of Southwest Miami-Dade County -- had the second highest enrollment in the country in 2016, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“I have a daughter that has a condition called Crohn’s disease,” said Suarez, who is also on Medicare and has a preexisting pancreas condition. “She has to have treatments – they’re called infusions – every three months, and it’s $12,000 a treatment. If they let employers waive the insurance coverage, then my daughter is in danger.”
Other constituents were able to speak with the representative later in the day in a scheduled meeting.