Aline Woessner, a senior citizen in Diamondhead and my spouse of over 42 years, has a heart condition that would have killed her had she not received emergency care. In 1976, Aline was rushed by ambulance to the hospital with a heart rate of over 200 beats per minute. Since then she has been able to maintain good health with medications, doctor visits and testing. All of which are covered under our health insurance plan for over $10,000 per year. We cannot afford to pay much more for the needed coverage.
After President Donald Trump was elected, we wondered whether her condition would be covered under the proposed Republican health care plan. In February 2017, we went to a town hall meeting in Long Beach to hear our U.S. congressman and senators speak on the subject and to question them about insurance for “pre-existing conditions.”
Unfortunately, Rep. Steven Palazzo and Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran failed to show, and to this day, have refused to meet their constituents in person in a town hall setting. Instead, they periodically issue “newsletters” and hold tightly screened call-ins.
If Palazzo, Wicker and Cochran believe the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis is mistaken, they owe it to their constituents to face them with in-depth, factual explanations supporting their reasons and to directly answer questions from those whose lives may be at-risk.
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They could, of course, continue to avoid face-to-face meetings with citizens, but this is not the behavior of a leader.