U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, speaks to constituents at Smokey Row Coffee in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday, January 6, 2020.

DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, defended Obamacare and advocated for Medicare as a public option during her first constituent event of 2020 speaking to a group of voters at Smokey Row Coffee on Monday afternoon.

After she gave an update she addressed questions asked by those in attendance. She was asked by a voter what she could do to safeguard the healthcare of people in her district.

“We’ve passed bills to cover people with preexisting conditions out of the House, but, unfortunately, we are seeing an attack on the Affordable Care Act which would dismantle the coverage for folks with preexisting conditions,” Axne said.

“The economic impact on folks who have preexisting conditions and their families, if they don’t have coverage, it is going to be astronomical,” she added.

Axne discussed having to purchase riders for maternity coverage that cost $1000 a month that she had to pay for one year before she could become pregnant and she was unable to afford it.

She said for her first son her family had to “sell personal items” in order to cover the cost of his delivery and medical bills.

“Folks, that is the time that we would go back to. If you are not covered by some type of insurance through your business and you become pregnant that is exactly the time that we would go back to,” Axne added.

She noted that young adults want good health care options, but don’t want to be “tied down” to a particular job in order for them to have that coverage.

“That is why it is so important that we protect the ACA, that we build on it. I want to introduce, I think we should be able to buy into Medicare as a public option so that everybody can have a choice that works for them,” Axne said.

One constituent, wearing a Trump hat, asked, “Didn’t all of the providers leave the ACA? In the state of Iowa all of the providers left because it didn’t work financially. So how are you going to address that?”

He also said it was time to discuss all of the debt that will be left to future generations because of all of the programs the federal government runs.

“There were some problems with the ACA, we all know that. But there are many things that need to be shored up about it and some of the provisions and some of the concessions that were made are the reason why we had that issue occur. You are absolutely right, and that was because too many people were unable to come together and really craft a plan that was going to work for everybody. We created some unintended outcomes as a result of it and those have to be fixed. I couldn’t agree with you more,” Axne answered.

“But taking away coverage from folks when they need it isn’t the answer. The answer is fixing those issues like you are pointing out so we can have a solid system that works for everybody,” she added.

Watch entire event:

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