(KCPW News) About three dozen MoveOn.org supporters protested outside Congressman Jim Matheson’s office in South Salt Lake on Friday because of his vote against the Democrats’ health care bill. Salt Lake City resident Peggy Wilson shared what she called “a horror story of being a Democrat in Utah.” She said when she met with Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s staff about the bill, they pointed out that Matheson, a Democrat, didn’t support the legislation.
“I was embarrassed, quite frankly. But there is one thing I did know after walking out of there for certain,” Wilson says. “And that is that I would never vote for Jim Matheson again. I was upset. I was disgusted.”
Ellie Brownstein, a Salt Lake City pediatrician, said Matheson no longer represents his constituents. She believes the majority of Utahns want health reform that includes a public option.
Among protesters wearing hospital smocks and face masks, West Valley City resident Randall Richardson held a sign alleging Matheson’s “No” vote was a direct result of campaign contributions from the healthcare industry.
“He represents the people that pay him, and the contributors that pay him: 33 percent health industry, the oil industry pays him a lot of money, various other sectors pay him a lot of money,” Richardson says. “And that’s why he is not really a Democrat, he is a Blue Dog and to me that translates to Republican.”
Matheson’s spokeswoman said Friday that the Congressman is not against health reform, he just didn’t believe the House bill would reduce skyrocketing healthcare costs.