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Stefanik defends vote to repeal and replace Affordable Care Act

Mountain Lake PBS live online
Rep. Elise Stefanik on Mountain Lake PBS.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) took a number of questions regarding healthcare at a community forum hosted by Mountain Lake PBS Monday night. Stefanik recently voted for the GOP healthcare plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which passed the House of Representatives. The North Country Republican defended the bill, but admits there are ways to improve it.

“This is the first part of a legislative process," Stefanik said. "I’ve worked with the Senate numerous times. I think they can work on providing better support for states that have expanded Medicaid, which New York, of course, is one of those. One additional opportunity is trying to get some bipartisan support.”

Stefanik said she helped make sure members of Congress were not exempt from the healthcare replacement. She said she also fought for maternity coverage and a provision that shifts Medicaid costs from New York counties to the state.

“I think we need to have better healthcare, more choices, with lower costs," Stefanik said. "When it comes to the Medicaid population, making sure we get rid of the waste, fraud and abuse within Medicaid and actually make sure that the funding goes towards patients that need it; the most vulnerable, the disabled population, people below the poverty line.”

Some in the audience booed at some of Stefanik's answers but, overall, the crowd was relatively mild. She also took questions on climate change, the Mexican border wall and the investigation into Russian hacking of the 2016 election.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.