NORFOLK — August recess has begun, and U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry is making his rounds to Nebraska communities.
On Wednesday evening, Fortenberry hosted a town hall in the Norfolk City Council Chambers.
“I’m their representative in the United States Congress. The good people who came here tonight loaned me their power so I could make judgements on what laws and policy ought to be for their benefit and benefit of the country, but I need to stay in dialogue with the people that I serve. Some people in Congress don’t do this anymore because they’ve become so unproductive and almost dangerous, but you know what, in Nebraska we can still have a civil discussion and that’s important.”
Health care was at the forefront of the discussion. Fortenberry shared that a number of his constituents have expressed concerns about health care costs, whereas others say the affordable care act is like a “godsend.”
“They’re both right. You don’t want to hurt someone who is already benefitting from what is in place and increase their vulnerability. That’s not what we need to do. We need to hold them harmless, say you got what you got don’t worry about it, but for people who have been priced out of this market, who have no access anymore to healthcare beecause of the rising cost, it’s not fair to them. So a reconstruction of insurance markets, moving to a system that is innovative, that is taking care of the sickest Americans in innovative ways, that provides a continuity of care in medical homes is a way to drive down costs while improving their very health.”
Fortenberry says differences will need to be set aside for any progress to be made in healthcare.
“Both democrats and republicans have to own this together. Instead of digging in and one side ruling versus the other side ruling, it’s time to govern…so in the fall I think we need to get back to work and find the areas that are overlapping with different political perspectives that could actually help people like this young farmer and protect people who are in vulnerable circumstances.”
Fortenberry says it’s important for residents to share how they’re being impacted by issues, especially issues he may not know about. The Representative also held community meetings in Bellevue, Lincoln, Fremont, Westpoint and Columbus.