Rick Larsen Town Hall

Posted March 26, 2017 at 6:31 pm by

Rick Larsen Town Hall meeting at Brickworks - John Miller photo

Con­gress­man Rick Larsen’s Town Hall on Sun­day at the Brick­works attract­ed just over a hun­dred res­i­dents from San Juan and oth­er islands. 

Larsen start­ed with com­ments about the fail­ure of the Repub­li­cans to end the Afford­able Care Act, with the heav­i­ly Demo­c­ra­t­ic crowd erupt­ing in applause sev­er­al times. He cau­tioned the group that while one bat­tle has been won, “the con­test isn’t over yet.” 

He cred­it­ed the grass roots activ­i­ty across the nation for the out­come. He had asked for peo­ple’s per­son­al expe­ri­ences with Oba­macare, and over 300 peo­ple in his dis­trict “wrote or called or did a video” about how they had been helped by the act, and he shared those reports with some of his col­leagues in Congress.

Larsen said the act had reduced the num­ber of unin­sured in the state from 14.8% to 5.8% and that uncom­pen­sat­ed care at St. Joseph’s Hos­pi­tal in Belling­ham, as just one exam­ple, was reduced from about $29 mil­lion annu­al­ly to $20 million. 

He then respond­ed to ques­tions for about an hour and a half before head­ing down to the fer­ry. Most­ly, it seemed, he gave the answers peo­ple want­ed to hear, but in at least two instances he did not. When he was asked about sin­gle-pay­er health insur­ance, as called for this week by Sen. Bernie Sanders, he said no, he thought it was more appro­pri­ate to stick with defend­ing Oba­macare, not to change in the mid­dle of the con­tro­ver­sy. And when he was asked about the noise from Whid­bey Naval Air Sta­tion growlers, he said he had called for a build­ing that would help reduce the vol­ume as they warm up. When a ques­tion­er said that would­n’t help with the noise while they’re in the air, he said no, but it would help his con­stituents who live on Whid­bey Island.

Larsen said his office will push back on Repub­li­can cuts to the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency and the var­i­ous agen­cies that help with afford­able hous­ing, and he will do all he can in Con­gress to over­turn the Cit­i­zens Unit­ed deci­sion of the Supreme Court allow­ing cor­po­ra­tions to spend unlim­it­ed mon­ey in elec­tions. He said the Fed­er­al Elec­tions Com­mis­sion “does a poor job” of enforc­ing the spend­ing lim­its that do exist and that he’s not sure how Con­gress can force it to do better. 

Sto­ry by Louise Dustrude

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Categories: Government
One comment:

One comment...

  1. I could write a mind-numb­ing­ly long com­ment detail­ing how our cur­rent mul­ti-pay­er health insur­ance sys­tem costs 18% of GDP com­pared to 12% in the sec­ond most expen­sive tier of devel­oped coun­tries; how that 6% dif­fer­ence amounts to a tril­lion dol­lars a year in admin­is­tra­tive feath­erbed­ding and price-goug­ing; how we get worse over­all out­comes (except for a few can­cers, at exor­bi­tant expense) than Cos­ta Rica and Slove­nia; and how med­ical bills are still the lead­ing cause of per­son­al bank­rupt­cy, post-ACA. Instead, I’ll give you with a cou­ple of real-life sto­ries, one from an Alaskan woman fight­ing breast can­cer under an ACA plan, and the oth­er from the daugh­ter of a French-Amer­i­can pan­cre­at­ic can­cer patient who received treat­ment from both Sloan Ket­ter­ing in New York and Hôpi­tal Cochin, a pub­lic hos­pi­tal in Paris. (France has a nation­al sin­gle-pay­er health insur­ance system.)

    * What sin­gle pay­er means to an Alaskan fish­er­man with breast cancer
    By Male­na Mar­vin, [last mod­i­fied] 24 April 2017

    * The French way of can­cer treatment
    By Anya Schiffrin, 12 Feb­ru­ary 2014

    Vot­ers need to ask them­selves why any moral­ly sen­tient, finan­cial­ly respon­si­ble human being would pre­fer to extend the ACA with a few dila­to­ry patch­es, band-aids, and tweaks rather than replace it with HR 676, “Expand­ed & Improved Medicare for All.”

    Comment by Peter Martin on April 24, 2017 at 2:25 pm

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