Rep. Noem Meets With Residents At Town Hall
Health Care and President Trump's Budget Proposal Take Center Stage
WATERTOWN, S.D.—There was only enough space for standing room at the Watertown Police Department Community room.
Residents packed inside, filled with questions and concerns to present to Representative Kristi Noem.
Noem hosted a town hall event Saturday morning in Watertown.
She said the current atmosphere in Washington, D.C. makes the time is ripe for town halls.
“We’re doing big things in Congress right now. We’re reforming health care, we’re talking about tax reform, we’re really getting the federal government off of the peoples’ backs and that creates a lot of discussion,” said Noem.
A myriad of topics fill the room: Russia, President Trump’s tax returns, climate change, and education.
However, health care was one of the primary talking points of the morning.
Noem’s position is to try and open up of the insurance coverage marketplace by repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
“I want there to be competition, I want people to be able to shop for policies that work best for their families. I believe in people being able to have those kinds of options and control over their decisions,” said Noem.
Codington County Democrats Chairman Kay Solberg said she thinks the American Health Care Act, some dubbing as TrumpCare, is too drastic of a step.
She believes partisan politics will do more harm than good for people insured under ObamaCare.
“Throwing out the whole program and trying to bring back something that’s so complicated is not the point that we need to do. We should’ve been doing this six years ago by taking a look at what things needed to be tweaked to make it better work,” said Solberg.
The other issue on the mind of attendees: President Trump’s initial budget proposal.
From the arts to agriculture, mutual concern was the common ground.
“I disagree with portions of his budget, they weren’t good for South Dakota so I’m going to be arguing and fighting for those things that I think are critically important to my state,” said Noem.
Attendees such as Madison resident John Nelson said they hope they have more opportunities to interact with their delegation.
“I would hope that our representatives in Washington would be responsive to those efforts that people are making to bring them hear and to hear their concerns and to identify the kind of positions they have on the various things that are happening in Washington,” said Nelson.
Noem and her team encourage anyone interested in future town hall events to contact any of her office locations.