Many of your constituents have been asking for months for you to have a town hall meeting so they can discuss the current health care bills in Congress which will have a serious impact on our state and you have been unresponsive.
I recently called your office with several questions which your staff member could not answer. He indicated he would pass my questions on to you, Senator Hoeven. However, I know from past experience it will be at least three weeks before I get a signed form letter in the mail which will not address my specific questions and given the urgency of the health care issue, this is Unacceptable.
In the last few days you have made it clear in many ways that you are not going to have a formal town hall for your constituents, but there are alternative forums you could use. My suggestion would be a live Facebook chat with moderators where participants could ask questions. And I do have serious questions, such as these which I asked when I called your Office:
• The current bill greatly diminishes Medicaid in our state which has a large rural population. Many rural hospitals and nursing homes depend on Medicaid payments to operate. What are you doing to assure these institutions continue to operate and provide patient care and jobs in their area in the event they lose critical funding?
• We have many low-income people who are struggling to provide shelter, food and clothing to their families. How can tax refunds help people who can't afford to pay for health insurance? How can you refund someone for something they couldn't afford to buy in the first place?
• Health care is not a partisan issue. The GOP is adamant about keeping Democrats out of the process of bringing their health care bill to fruition, but why haven't you worked to reach across the aisle in finding solutions? Isn't this what a good statesman/representative is supposed to do?
These are a few of my questions and I know many of your constituents have more for which they are not receiving answers. Will you please, at least, dignify our questions with answers in some public arena before you vote on this bill?
Schaefle lives in Fargo.