Health care concerns voiced at Missoula Town Hall meeting

KPAX Missoula  – February 25, 2017

Montanans gathered on Saturday at the Missoula Senior Center to voice their concerns over the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Participants shared personal stories and talked about ways to take action locally — including the possible upcoming election to fill Congressman Ryan Zinke’s position.

“Really it’s an opportunity for Montanans to dig in again to the federal issues that are impacting them and certainly what’s happening with the ACA, which is one of those issues. It’s a chance for us to lift that issue up and make sure candidates are debating it and discussing it,” Montana Women Vote executive director Sarah Howell said.

Howell also told MTN News that the Treasure State is in a unique position with the possibility of an emergency election. Some Montanans at the town hall also voiced concerns about how future political decisions will affect not only their health coverage but also their business.

“In order to have the help we need to grow our business to the point where we can be self-sufficient and we can buy our own health care, right now we rely on expanded Medicaid for us and [the Children’s Health Program] for my daughter,” Tandem Doughnuts owner Beth Gherlein said.

“Without those, we probably couldn’t continue our business, which means we couldn’t keep employing our employees and wouldn’t be able to pursue this dream of being our own bosses,” she added.

The Montana Budget and Policy Center reports that 142,000 Montanans face uncertainty in health coverage with the threat of the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act.

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