Chicken-Fried News: Tweets on a plane

LanfordTweetIn the old days, before cell phones and the internet, when you had trouble reaching someone, you could get in your car and drive around looking for them or just wait for them at their home or office. Thanks to technology, the latter behaviors are almost always unnecessary. They’re also super creepy.

Kendall Brown, a Norman woman worried about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called, left messages for and wrote to her legislator to share her concerns. Brown also has Crohn’s disease, a chronic, incurable inflammatory disease, reported KFOR.com.

Shockingly, the lawmaker, also known as Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford, failed to reply. Then fate stepped in.

Brown was on a March 24 flight from Dallas to Oklahoma City when she spotted Lankford a few rows away.

So she @’d him.

“Hi @SenatorLankford I still would like to talk about the ACA with you,” she tweeted. “I haven’t been able to reach you but your (sic) on my flight. Want to chat?”

He “liked” her tweet. Oh my god, you guys. Then she sent a couple more.

But it gets better.

As the plane lifted off, she wrote him a letter saying she wanted to speak with him about “living with an incurable disease & insurmountable medical debt,” the news station reported.

Lankford responded.

According to News9.com, the senator got up from his seat and walked over to Brown. They spoke briefly as she reiterated her desire to share her story. He promised he would be available later.

Later that day, he called her, but she didn’t answer because his number was blocked — and nobody answers calls from blocked numbers! She quickly realized it wasn’t a telemarketer.

A representative from Lankford’s office assured KFOR.com that Lankford would call again that weekend. Tulsa World reported they connected and spoke for 40 minutes that night.

Lankford said it would be wrong to repeal the ACA if that meant people like Brown with debilitating conditions were left out in the cold, Lankford’s spokesman D.J. Jordan told Tulsa World.

“Senator Lankford believes Congress should fix Obamacare with the goal in mind of doing no harm to current enrollees, including [Brown],” Jordan told the newspaper.

Brown told News9.com that since she tweeted Lankford, other people have come forward to share their health care concerns, too.

“It feels really awesome to know that I am being entrusted with their stories because I know how important it is to have their stories heard,” she told News9.com.

Gazette Staff

This article was written by the Oklahoma Gazette staff. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story headline in your subject line.

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