Health care, N. Korea dominate tele-town hall
Questioners peppered U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on Wednesday night with complaints about how the Senate has dealt with the Affordable Care Act, some complaining that Republicans are damaging it and others that Congress is not doing enough to replace it.
Gardner, a Republican from Yuma, also called for “peaceful de-nuclearizaton” of North Korea and warned that the United States needs to take strong action, now that parts of the nation appear to be within reach of intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from North Korea.
One caller, Maureen from Gunnison, chastised Gardner saying that he was voting against the will of his constituents in seeking to replace the ACA, which she said had saved her life.
“I’m glad it worked for you, but it hasn’t worked for everyone,” Gardner said, citing another caller, John in Phillips County, who told Gardner that his insurance premiums of $1,400 a month amounted to about a third of his family income.
“That isn’t sustainable and I’m a little disappointed in the Republicans, you guys couldn’t get it done,” John said of the failed Senate effort to repeal from current law the penalties for failing to have insurance.
Another caller, Bruce from Durango, called for a single-payer system with a secondary insurance market.
“I don’t think socialized medicine is the right thing,” Gardner said, citing the case of Charlie Gard, who died at 11 months after he was denied treatment by the British system for a rare congenital syndrome.
The United States should pursue additional sanctions against North Korea, including banning any transactions involving U.S. currency with the rogue nation, Gardner said.
Gardner also defended his proposal to move the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management to the West, citing his interest in placing it in Grand Junction because of the amount of federal lands in Mesa County.
Most of the lands managed by the BLM are west of the Mississippi River, so the officials responsible for them should also be in the West, he said.