KTVQ: Daines holds tele-town hall, healthcare major topic


Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act were major topics at the tele-town hall meeting with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) Wednesday night.

The senator gave his thoughts on repealing and replacing the healthcare law.

As Daines spoke on the phone in Washington, D.C., about 30,000 listened to the tele-town hall meeting, according to the Senator’s staff.

He took questions on the phone for about an hour and a half.

Daines said the Affordable Health Care Act has brought rising premiums, unaffordable deductibles, fewer insurance choices and higher taxes.

He cited numbers from the Silver or Standard plan on the insurance health exchange.

Daines said for a 27-year-old, premiums in Montana increased 76 percent or nearly $1,896 from from 2013 to 2017.

During that same period, he said for a family of four, annual premiums increased 122 percent or nearly  $11,000.

And in the last year, premium have increased between 27 and 58 percent in Montana.

As for a new bill, he wants to see 26-year-olds stay on their parents policies, and he wants people with pre-existing conditions to be able to get insurance.

“The bottom line is we need to see insurance premiums go down,” Daines said.

“And I’m waiting to see what the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office is going to be scoring the current bill that’s in the House, and it better be showing costs going down because if it doesn’t, we’re going to have to continue to work on this bill. We’re going through a thoughtful process right now to make sure we’ve got a good bill for repeal and replace,” said Daines.

Also during the call, the senator said he voted to confirm Betsy Devos as Education Secretary because she supports putting local school boards in control of education.

He also said he would like the House and Senate intelligence committees to finish their work on investigating intelligence leaks.