HILLSBORO, N.D.-Paul Geray is frustrated. He is self-employed and pays for his own health insurance.
He wants to know what his elected officials are doing to bring down what he says are "ridiculous" insurance costs.
"My premiums are $1,500 a month. It really forces you to look at stuff you didn't look at before," Geray said.
Geray owns Paul's Hometown Repair auto shop in Hillsboro, just down the road from where Republican U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong held a town hall meeting Monday night.
"They just don't realize what an independent person goes through," Geray said.
Geray has owned the auto repair shop since 1997 and his wife works with him. When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, he saw their health insurance premiums jump hundreds of dollars.
"It's ridiculous. What can we do?" Geray asked Armstrong.
Armstrong called Geray "the exact example of why Obamacare didn't work."
"We haven't covered more people, we simply covered a different group of people and pushed the burden to people like small family farmers and self-employed individuals," Armstrong said. "We confuse coverage with care. Quality of care has gone down as coverage has gone up."
Armstrong said states should have more control when it comes to health care and insurance.
"The federal government is not capable of dealing with health care. We need to get states involved with health care if they're going to fix it," Armstrong said.
Many at the meeting were concerned with security on the southern border.
"The caravan's coming here; what's your take on that, who's funding it?" asked one woman.
Armstrong said he hasn't seen "any evidence that's going on."
"The bigger issue here is our asylum process is irretrievably and fundamentally broken," Armstrong said. "We need to build the wall and beef up our immigration enforcement. Anyone who thinks there is not a crisis on the border is not living in reality."
Armstrong also spoke on the importance of listening to opposing viewpoints.
"If you spend 100% of your time with people you agree with politically, you probably spend a lot of time alone or with your dog," Armstrong said.
There were a wide variety of people at the Vets Club in Hillsboro. One woman in attendance worked for the campaign of Mac Schneider, Armstrong's opponent in the 2018 election. She simply wanted to hear what Armstrong had to say.
"You know who Ruth Bader Ginsburg's best friend was? Antonin Scalia. We need more of that," Armstrong said. "We win by listening to opposing viewpoints."
Armstrong is in his first term in Congress. He served the Dickinson area in the North Dakota Senate before getting elected.
Armstrong will go to Valley City Wednesday for a second town hall meeting.