Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones visits Huntsville Hospital to discuss health care issues

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones made a stop in the Rocket City Thursday and paid a visit to Huntsville Hospital.

While at Huntsville Hospital he met doctors, administrators and nurses to discuss the issues surrounding health care. Jones said he believes elected officials will find the answer to fixing our health care system by speaking with those who work in it. He mentioned that repeal and replace is a political slogan and not necessarily the best option.

“Before we start issuing bills to repeal and replace let’s have the hearings. All of the bills that have been proposed since January have been done behind closed doors without the benefit of any hearings,” said Jones.

He recognizes that healthcare premiums are going up for some people, but said there are others who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act.

“There are also people that never had healthcare that have healthcare insurance right now. So, you’ve got to balance that out. You hear a lot about healthcare premiums going up but that’s not just because of a bill or law that got passed."

David Drenning is a cardiologist at the Heart Center of Huntsville Hospital. He said one of his major concerns is that people aren’t able to get preventive healthcare.

“We see patients come in with heart attacks all the time and people who are working people. Low and middle income working people can’t afford healthcare and they are looking at a $50,000 dollar bill and that is devastating for that family. They will never erase that debt."

Drenning said if he could choose, he would make a public option of buying into Medicare at an affordable rate on every healthcare exchange in the country.

Jones added he doesn’t want to discredit the federal government's role in Medicaid and Medicare. He said Alabama rural hospitals are dependent on that funding.