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Denham target of healthcare bill protesters
denham protest
A group of people protesting Congressman Jeff Denham and his vote for the GOP healthcare plan hold up signs and chant outside of a private event Denham was attending at Dust Bowl Brewery on Tuesday. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR/The Journal

Jeff Denham Protest At Dust Bowl Brewery In Turlock

By: Frankie Tovar

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A group of roughly 60 protesters lined the sidewalk in front of Dust Bowl Brewery Tuesday afternoon to protest Congressman Jeff Denham and his recent vote for the GOP’s healthcare bill meant to repeal and replace key components of the Affordable Care Act.

The protesters held a variety of signs and chanted their sentiments of disappointment towards Dust Bowl where Denham was attending a private event.

“Jeff Denham is a liar. He told us at the town hall meeting that he would not vote for any healthcare plan that did not include pre-existing conditions. Up to the day of the vote his office was saying he would vote no,” Modesto resident Tom Crain said. “He’s a hood ornament for the Trump-mobile. Bait-and-switch, pure and simple.”

The protesters stood outside Dust Bowl for several hours demanding their voices be heard, shouting through megaphones and blowing on horns as chants of “liar” and “repeal and replace Denham” rang down Fulkerth Avenue.

“I really feel like we have made our wishes, our constituency’s wishes, known. That this Valley needs the ACA. This Valley needs the healthcare that was provided by the ACA,” Turlock resident Carrie Ann Castillo said. “So many more people were covered and this Valley is disproportionately affected by a need for healthcare because of the way our economics are.

“It also provided something like 3,000 jobs in this area, I think just in this district alone. And now these people, they won’t have a job and they won’t have healthcare. So, it’s a double whammy,” she added.

Despite remaining undecided up until the May 4 vote, Denham voted ‘yes’ on the Republican healthcare bill measure, applauding the fact that the new bill ensures important protections remain in place for those with pre-existing conditions and in high-risk pools.

“The American Health Care Act, as amended, is a good first step toward putting control over personal healthcare choices back into the hands of individuals – not the federal government,” said Denham last week.

This isn’t the first time Denham has been the target of protesters.

Nearly 200 protestors marched on his gated Turlock neighborhood on Feb. 23, urging the congressman to back away from healthcare and immigration actions spearheaded by President Donald Trump and GOP leadership. There have also been a series of protests in front of Denham’s Modesto office.

Denham also faced protesters in front of the Larsa Banquet Hall on April 17, where he was part of a government night town hall meeting. The standing room only crowd of nearly 1,000 people at the town hall meeting was loud and demanding during the nearly three-hour event, opposing Denham on almost every topic of the night.