Congressman Phil Roe’s Elizabethton town hall focuses on future of healthcare

ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) – Dozens gathered at TCAT’s Elizabethton campus Tuesday night to ask questions and listen to U.S. Congressman Phil Roe of Tennessee’s First District at his 42nd town hall.

Congressman Roe said his focus would be on the country’s budget, healthcare and foreign affairs. Constituents ended up asking questions mostly about healthcare as well as immigration, the environment and veterans affairs.

“They come in and they cry, I’m hurting and they can’t afford this medicine,” an audience member said as he voiced concerns about treating his patients.

Roe has been an adamant supporter of finding a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. He offered possible solutions to the concerns

“I would think instead of spending all the money on advertising they can maybe lower the prices,” Congressman Roe said.

Audience members raised green papers when in agreement and red papers when in disagreement, as various questions made their way around the room.

“I’m glad he was here, I’m glad he came, I’m glad he showed up,” Katie Sword said.

Sword was happy to see Congressman Roe talk about things that matter to her but she says she wants to see his votes reflect his views on issues.

“I wanted to hear about healthcare, I wanted to hear about Donald Trump’s taxes, I wanted to hear about specifically pre-existing conditions for myself and he said some things tonight that I wish he would back up with his votes,” Sword said.

Kathleen Moore is a grandmother and a United States Air Force veteran, she said the Mountain Home VA treats her well and her main concern is the climate.

“My big concern again is climate change, he did not answer my question about what we’re doing locally to make sure we have food for our population,” Moore said.

Moore was also concerned about healthcare for her family and the way some other veterans in her community are treated.

“I thought Phil handled himself very well with some of the tough questions,” Ron Winter said.

Roe said he will meet with President Trump Wednesday to sign his bill that’ll free up nearly $1 billion from the Veterans Choice Program fund which will allow that money to be spent before it expires in August. The Veterans Choice Program was started three years ago, allowing veterans who had long wait times to go outside the VA for care.

“This is a critical piece of legislation to help transform the VA,” Roe said, explaining that they’re in the process of doing “Choice 2.0” as they work to make the best quality care possible for veterans.

Another bill Roe is working on is the Accountability Bill which would make it easier to hire and fire poor performing VA employees. The bill passed in the House of Representative and is making its way through the Senate.

Congressman Roe also said Congress must soon meet to set the country’s budget for the next fiscal year. The Congressman told us a temporary budget will expire Apr. 28. A republican conference call is scheduled for Saturday at 2 pm. to talk about the future of healthcare and getting the government funded.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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