Walz Staff Talks Health Care Concerns on Way of Life Tour

September 28, 2017 12:17 AM

(ABC 6 News) – The topic of health care is at the forefront throughout our local communities.

On Wednesday, a team representing Rep. Tim Walz, D - Minn., was in Mantorville to hear concerns from leaders and organizations.


Cheryl Gustason a nursing home administrator at Field Crest Care Center, said Minnesota is aging rapidly.

"In the year 2020 there'll be more seniors, 65 and older than there are school-aged children," said Gustason.

She says of those, 54 percent of residents in care centers in Minnesota are on Medicaid.

"If the federal government decides to go to the block grant system that they're talking about and taking the Medicaid money from Minnesota and putting it into other states, what will happen is care centers will close," added Gustason.

However, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said his fellow Republicans are trying to correct Obamacare’s broken promises.

"In turn, it would have been better if I’d said, the main reason for voting for Graham Cassidy is that the promises that President Obama made about Obamacare haven't materialized. They've turned out to be a lie to the people,” said Sen. Grassley. 

On Wednesday, Josh Syrjamaki, the chief of staff for Walz said they are making their final swing through Southern Minnesota to find solutions to those health care issues they are hearing.

"He's always said health care reform is a journey, not a destination. And what that really means is we're gonna work on this together," said Syrjamaki.

And health care has been the number one topic in recent meetings.

"We're taking our marching orders from the communities and our constituents that we're meeting with and they're telling us this is a top priority and we're making it top priority," said Syrjamaki.

A priority Cheryl Gustason has plenty to say about.

"Any industry right now, whether it be retail or anything else are gonna have to deal with the elderly so why not learn how to care for them and deal with their needs in any field," said Gustason.


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