Senator hosts a healthy town hall debate in Monmouth

Senator hosts a healthy town hall debate in Monmouth

Residents air concerns about health care reform; energy policy also a focus


By:  Ruth Liao

Dallas resident Tim Halderman appreciated the opportunity to get face time with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley in Monmouth on Sunday, but Halderman wanted Merkley to listen to his proposals for health care reform.

"I hope he goes back and comes up with something that keeps the federal government out of health care," Halderman said.

About 30 Mid-Valley residents were in attendance of Merkley's Monmouth town hall, one of several that the junior Congressman hosted across the state. Merkley, D-Oregon, is scheduled to speak at a town hall tonight in Salem.

Independence Mayor John McArdle opened up questions by asking Merkley to explain the proposed health care plan.

McArdle said that as Independence mayor, he had a vested interest in health care costs as it relates to economic development to his community.

Merkley described how the bill is attempting to establish a health insurance exchange that would provide individual health care and lower the costs for individuals and small businesses.

He said the committee may release a public health care option among a set of options. Merkley said the bill would provide flexibility by establishing an advisory panel for each state and give a pricing range for plans.


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