CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield was back in his western Massachusetts district today to hold a town hall meeting in Chicopee. 22News was there to hear what he had to say about the changing structure of healthcare here in the U.S. More than one hundred people attended Congressman Richard Neal’s a town hall meeting at the Elms College in Chicopee Saturday morning to discuss the Affordable Care Act which the Trump administration is hoping to repeal and replace.
Neal was a co-author of the original legislation and is opposed to it being repealed. Neal told 22News, “we need to go back to a reasonable conversation here in America, we need to be able to talk to each other to solve the problems that we face.”
During the town residents were able to ask Congressman Neal questions healthcare. One woman shared her personal struggles in hopes that it’s a story Neal would bring to Washington. Tammy Hall told 22News, “I have to go have my gallbladder removed but the insurance is not proper right now so I’m afraid to go get that done. Also, because I don’t have anyone else to care for my children, I can’t pay for those bills if I go.”
Healthcare has become a controversial topic in the U.S. Democrats say that the law has been successful in expanding access to care for previously undeserved Americans, while Republicans say that the act has led to higher costs for consumers.
Congressman Neal told 22News he does believe there is room for improvement. “Where the Affordable Care Act I think would need to be altered is in the individual markets, that’s where these tough stories are coming from. An individual showed up here today, He was right his healthcare’s costs have gone up because he’s in an individual market as opposed to a group purchasing operation.”
Republicans new “American Health Care Act” was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee this week after an eighteen hour session.