FLORENCE, Ala. – Monday evening Senator Doug Jones visited the University of North Alabama to host a constituent town hall meeting.
The meeting was held at the Communications building on UNA’s campus. Dozens of community members showed up to share their thoughts and hear what Sen. Jones had to say.
During the meeting, Sen. Jones discussed topics including healthcare, abortion and military family support.
Sen. Jones said he believes Alabama needs to expand Medicaid in the Southeast. Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas do not currently hold the Medicaid expansion. Sen. Jones’ SAME Act would use the federal government to cover the costs of the expansion for the first three years. He also mentioned that he started an act that would produce a study showing the pros and cons of expanding our healthcare.
Another act, Sen. Jones mentioned in tonight’s meeting was the Lower Healthcare Costs Act of 2019. The act will reduce the cost of healthcare for Alabamians. According to him it will eliminate surprise billing, increase transparency and increase competition in the prescription drug market.
“Alabama is a very unhealthy, poor state. We have two great hospitals here [in North Alabama], Huntsville, Birmingham and Mobile. Areas in between [those cities] is a little sketchy. Hospitals are closing, so we need to do a better job of keeping them open and getting people affordable care,” Sen. Jones said.
During the public Q&A, an individual brought up the recent abortion bill that was signed in Alabama. Sen. Jones explained that he believes everyone is pro-life in a sense.
“Generally people are pro life. People want to see life. People want to make sure we take care of children and their health. But at the same time people don’t want to see a bill get signed that doesn’t give a twelve-year-old child who has been raped a choice,” he said.
Sen. Jones also went on to say abortion has been “weaponized by both the Right and the Left.”
After the meeting, folks were able to meet and talk with Sen. Jones. One individual even mentioned that Jones’ meeting tonight swayed his vote for the next election.
Next, Sen. Jones will head down to Birmingham and visit Lake Martin on Tuesday and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital on Wednesday.