SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU)- After repeated attempts to have Congresswoman Jackie Walorski to participate in a town hall to discuss health care, constituents were disappointed when she didn't show up Sunday afternoon.
Hundreds from the community gathered at the Century Center to discuss the state of health care in the U.S. Organizers of the event invited a panel of experts to answer people's questions on major provisions for the affordable care act, quality of health care and affordability.
Although Walorski didn't make it, the town hall went on.
'We're extremely disappointed," said Nicole MacLaughlin, one of the organizers from the Northern Indiana Community Coalition for Health Care (NICCHC). "We feel that Congresswoman Walorski really made a move that wasn't good for her by not showing up today."
"My granddaughter Ella was born with special needs and she has received health care through different professionals several times a week since the day she was born and she's now ten years old," said Laura Mabry, one of the attendees Sunday afternoon. "She's an amazing, adorable and very strong, spunky kid, but she does need her health care."
On Sunday, Walorski released these two statements to WNDU:
"Whenever I am home in Indiana, I take the opportunity to meet with constituents and to travel around the district visiting local businesses, farms, and community organizations. Engaging in constructive dialogue is essential to finding commonsense solutions to the challenges Hoosiers face. That is why I have an open-door policy so I can hear Hoosiers’ views and experiences. I look forward to continuing these conversations."
And on health care:
"Too many Hoosiers are facing higher premiums, fewer options, and a collapsing system under Obamacare. I remain committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a patient-centered health care system that lowers costs, provides real protections, and returns control to individuals and families. As I work with my colleagues toward a legislative solution, I will continue listening to Hoosiers in order to build a better health care system that works for them."
"It's really frustrating when we can't even get her to talk to us, let alone to come to a town hall," said Mabry.
She said she has tried several times to speak directly with Walorski, but was only able to speak with one of the assistants.
Everyone who was there got a program with two index cards to write questions for the town hall, and all questions will be delivered to Walorski.
Event organizers say about 500 people attended the event.