Health care woes dominate town hall
Health care concerns and business costs dominated issues raised Monday during a telephone town hall by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., who offered assurances that people now on Medicaid will remain covered as Congress considers changing the Affordable Care Act.
Under a replacement bill that passed the House, patients can’t lose coverage because of pre-existing conditions, Tipton told one caller, Debbie, in Grand Junction.
“I just don’t know how I’m going to survive,” Debbie said after detailing setbacks.
“It sounds like you might fit into Medicaid,” Tipton said to as many as 60,000 people who asked to participate in the call.
“If you qualify, you will still receive those Medicaid dollars,” Tipton told another caller, Ivan in Pueblo.
Continuing high insurance costs are making it difficult for small businesses to survive, said another caller, Tyler in Grand Junction, who asked, “What are you doing to create a more small-business-friendly environment?”
A major idea behind the House legislation is to give premium buyers greater choices of coverage, including less-expensive options than are now required, Tipton said.
“That is the goal, to let the free market work and let people have choice in terms of the coverage they would like to have,” Tipton said.
Simple solutions will remain hard to find, Tipton told Lisa in Durango, a single mother and emergency room nurse who noted that costs are rising “astronomically” on both sides of her life, as a mother and hospital employee. “What can you give us struggling to remain in the middle class some relief?” Lisa said.
Stand-alone medical clinics and greater freedom of choice in coverage are important, Tipton said, but health coverage “will always be a work in progress for our country.” Tipton took 16 calls from people around the district, which covers most of the Western Slope.