Congressional candidate Christine Brown hosts town hall to talk health care

Congressional candidate Christine Brown hosts town hall to talk health care

RICHLAND, Wash. – As the U.S. House and Senate debate proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act, residents in the Tri-Cities gathered to voice their concerns about health care Monday night in Richland.

Christine Brown, congressional candidate for the 4th district, held a town hall at the Richland Union Hall to give residents in the Tri-Cites an opportunity to tell local legislators what they think about heath care in the U.S.

Brown said she is worried 50,000 Washingtonians in the 4th district could lose health insurance under the Senate's health care proposal.

Officials at the Washington State Hospital Association released a statement sharing their concern about the Senate proposal.

“Everyone talks about a better health care system, but the Senate’s bill, like the House’s, purposefully limits health coverage for hundreds of thousands of people in Washington state,” WSHA President and CEO Cassie Sauer said. “Denying people affordable coverage doesn’t improve the system — it only makes people sicker and drives up the cost care for everyone, including employers and working families. This bill is the wrong direction for our state, and we are glad that Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have said they will vote against the bill.”

Brown said that one of the most relevant benefits of the Affordable Care Act has been preventative care. For instance, she said, by spending $1 on prevention, it can save $7-10 when the condition worsens or becomes life threatening.

Both Brown and Congressman Dan Newhouse said they think the ACA still needs to be improved to lower premiums and deductibles for constituents.

"Definitely, there are problems with some people's premiums being too high and deductibles too high that are not consistent for their income level. Those kinds of things need to be fixed,” Brown said. “But instead of fixing it, the republicans have worked—in my opinion—to essentially sabotage it. That's a disappointment. Number one, I'd like to see the affordable care act more workable in its current form. Secondly, I'd like to see us move to the system of Medicare for all."

Brown’s opponent, Congressman Newhouse said he’s focusing on making sure rural hospitals can be successful with whatever bill passes, as well as looking out for the low-income individuals in central Washington.

"I wish I could tell you how many letters and emails we've gotten from people describing to me the increases in the premiums they have to pay, the increases in the amounts of co-payments they've had to make and the decreases in the amount of health coverage that they can afford," Newhouse said. "All of those things tell me that we can and we have to do better."

Christine Brown is holding another town hall to discuss health care tomorrow in Yakima at 6:30 p.m. at the Henry Beauchamp Community Center (formerly the Southeast Yakima Community Center), located at 1211 S. 7th Street, Yakima, WA 98901.

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