PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Congressman Neal Dunn spent his first town hall meeting today defending the future of healthcare in America. The topic dominated the nearly three hour question and answer session at Florida State University's Panama City campus.
250 people from Florida's 2nd District crowded into the Holley Lecture Hall. The meeting came as the nation is about to be on the heels of healthcare reform.
"We're going to be looking for that sweet spot, but the key thing in finding a sweet spot is not by having some bureaucrat decide where that is. It's by depending on the market to find the sweet spot. So what we do is we make all the prices transparent, make the quality transparent, and let them make a value based choice on where the sweet spot is," said Dunn.
The issue of healthcare eligibility and coverage ran deep, as many members of the community came forth with personal stories as to how projected changes made under Trump's administration could affect individuals. Many were fearful they'd lose insurance.
"I want to make sure that nobody loses healthcare who wants to keep it. I think we've got a system for that, and, when we had a few questions from people where I don't have the immediate answer, I have a staff that's going to work really hard on that. We're going to find out if there are nitches that are missing," said Dunn.
Trisha Schmidt of Panama City suffers from multiple chronic illnesses. Schmidt didn't have healthcare for seven years before becoming eligible under the Affordable Care Act, which she says saved her and her husband almost five times their gross income in a year.
"I feel like if I lose my health insurance, I might not make it. People, they talk about health insurance, and they don't think about the real people affected by it - the real lives that can be lost. I've known people that have died from the same conditions I have, and I know that could be me. That's a hard reality to live with," said Schmidt.
Republican leaders are set to vote Thursday on whether to repeal and replace Obamacare.
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