Rep. Kim Schrier

Rep. Kim Schrier answers questions at a town hall meeting in Ellensburg Sunday. Ellensburg Mayor Bruce Tabb help moderate the forum.

“These are times where there is divisiveness, these are times where people feel very very strongly about the issues that are before us, and clearly these are times where these issues are divisive,” Ellensburg Mayor Bruce Tabb said while introducing U.S. Congresswoman Kim Schrier, 8th District, at a Town Hall Meeting on Sunday.

Schrier campaigned on a platform of public health, an issue that is close to her. Schrier is currently the only woman doctor in Congress and made it a point of her campaign to provide health care that is affordable and accessible to everyone in the U.S.

She started by talking about the achievements in the House of Representatives since she had been elected. During this time, the House has passed five bills with the goal to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

Schrier moved on to answer audience questions, which were submitted before the meeting, and read to her by Mayor Tabb.

Schrier considers the tariffs implemented by the Trump administration a disaster, and that the trade war might cause Washington farmers to lose the ability to sell to China.

“My fear is that we are escalating this trade war. Xi Jingping does not have to win an election, he does not have to make anyone happy. Our president does, and I am worried that the tightening of the screws may not lead to the trade agreement that we all want and need in our country,” Schrier said. “And I am also worried that if those screws get tightened too much that our cherry farmers, for example, may not have that dependable trade with China, and that New Zealand might step in, or that Australia might step in, and that business might not come back.”

Health care was another important issue that was brought up during the meeting. One of the questions that Schrier was asked was what was her “fix” for health care.

“My fix is shoring up the Affordable Care Act, creating a public option, bringing down the cost of prescription drugs and making sure that everyone is covered in an affordable way,” Schrier said.

Schrier brought up a Bill H.R. 3 The Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. This bill was recently introduced to Congress and is a “big deal” according to Schrier. The bill will allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, and extend the negotiated price to the private market. The bill will also require drug companies to stop selling their products to Americans at a higher price than they sell to other countries.

“I heard all along the campaign trail about people who were saying ‘the cost of my insulin used to be $40 now it is $300. My epipen used to be $50 now its $600,’ ” Schrier said.

She also said that she will be looking into whether the expiration dates on medicine are real, or if they are just a scheme to make people buy more medicine.

Schrier talked about immigration on the southern border as something that was un-American. She had traveled to the border and saw what she believed to be something that was inhumane and that she was elected because people believed that she would “stand up” if she saw something that she knew was wrong. Schrier said that she has “gone to bat” for these kids by asking for pediatric specialists and vaccinations for the children.

“I went to the southern border, because I saw children being treated in an inhumane way, and no matter where you stand on the issue of immigration, or the choices their parents made, any of that.” Schrier said. “People are people, and kids are kids, and you should not be putting kids in cages and taking them away from their parents.”

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