On Wednesday night Utah Senator Mike Lee answered questions about healthcare by video from Washington D.C.
During the hour-long tele town hall, Senator Lee fielded healthcare questions from supporters and critics.
One was from a caller named Dan in Central Valley, Utah.
"We currently are uninsured as a family as our premiums went up over $2200 for the year 2017 outpacing our housing costs and everything else," Dan said.
Lee responded saying the problem is the federal government’s involvement in healthcare which drives up prices.
"This has a lot to do with the fact that there is inadequate competition. That inadequate competition is the natural consequence of excessive federal regulation," Lee said.
Another personal story came from Betsy in Herriman, Utah. She fears the current Senate plan would return Americans to an era when healthcare was unaffordable and lacked protections for people like her late husband.
"He knew he was sick but wouldn’t go to the doctor because we knew we couldn’t pay for it. He ended up with stage four colon cancer and passed away. The only reason he died was because we had no insurance," Betsy said.
Lee responded by advocating for his addition to the Senate bill, the Consumer Freedom Amendment. That would allow insurance companies to offer plans that maintain the ACA regulations and protections, as well as another set of plans that do away with them to make insurance cheaper.
"I think there is a way to thread this needle. There is a way to provide more competition while still giving people protections including some protections that might not have existed a few years ago," Lee said.
Lee’s Consumer Freedom Amendment to the Senate bill is currently being scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Lawmakers in Washington released an updated health bill today.