SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) kicked off a series of town halls across the state at Syracuse University Friday. The generally friendly audience gave Gillibrand a warm reception but asked questions on the biggest issues facing Washington.
Gillibrand was welcomed with a standing ovation but the attention quickly turned to health care and President Donald Trump. Gillibrand called the Republican health care bill "terrible" and said millions of people could lose coverage.
“There’s a real fear among New Yorkers that they’re just not going to have access to health care,” Gillibrand said.
When pressed on the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, Gillibrand said she supports Medicare for all or a single-payer system.
"That means everybody gets affordable quality care, without that profit motive, because the motive should be health care, it's not supposed to be profit," Gillibrand said. "Health care should be a right, it should not be a privilege."
One audience member wanted to know how Trump was able to get elected. Gillibrand said Trump ran as a disrupter but used Democratic messages like a rigged system, and bad trade deals.
“People do believe the system is rigged because in a lot of ways it is," Gillibrand said. "It’s not rigged for people who don’t have money, who don’t have power, who don’t have access.”
Gillibrand said she has faith in the special counsel investigating any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russia hacking of the 2016 elections.
“I believe the truth will come out, and I believe justice will be done," Gillibrand said. "I think it will take time though.”
Gillibrand said she is calling for a bipartisan commission to determine how the U.S. was hacked and how it can be stopped in 2018.
"What were our vulnerabilities then?" Gillibrand asked. "What are our vulnerabilities today? What do we have to do to prevent for the next hacking? We need to publish that and get it out before '18. It has to be done."