Government

Joni Ernst plans town hall meeting in Washington, Iowa

U.S. senator to be at Washington High on Aug. 15

Senator Joni Ernst answers questions during a town hall at the Central Community School Auditorium in Elkader on Monday, April 10, 2017. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Senator Joni Ernst answers questions during a town hall at the Central Community School Auditorium in Elkader on Monday, April 10, 2017. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst expects she will hear plenty of comments about health care when she has a town hall meeting Tuesday, Aug. 15, in Washington, Iowa.

However, the freshman Republican anticipates the conversation may not be as one-sided as at her town hall meetings earlier this year in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, which drew more than 1,000 and about 800 people, respectively.

This time, Ernst said Tuesday in Des Moines, she expects to hear from people who are seeking relief from the “travesty” of the Affordable Care Act.

“I will tell you that we are seeing the failures and (hearing from) the people who are being impacted by the current structure of Obamacare,” Ernst said.

She recently spoke to members of three related families who are involved in one farm operation. Their premium costs were more than $70,000 a year, she said.

“It’s outrageous and they can’t sustain,” Ernst said. “They are hardworking folks that are out there trying to make a living and yet we keep forcing increasing costs on them. Those are the people that we’re hearing from now.”

Whatever their issue and whatever their opinion, Ernst will hear from constituents at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at Washington High School, 111 S. B Ave. It will be her second town hall of the August congressional recess, a day after a meeting in Fort Dodge.

Rod Boshart of The Gazette contributed to this story.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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