Activists press Risch on health care at Facebook event for local businesses

Sen. Risch confronted about health care.

BOISE -- Wednesday, the social media giant Facebook partnered up with small businesses in Idaho.

At a special event, Facebook representatives showed off the most up-to-date tools, insights, and best practices to help Idaho businesses grow.

The event also included special guest speaker, Idaho Senator Jim Risch who was unexpectedly confronted by some of his constituents.

The senator spoke about the ongoing health care debate after a small group of activists confronted him at the event.

Those activists say they had no choice but to address Risch at a public event because they say he has evaded directly meeting with them for weeks.

Risch responded saying that health care is one of the most personal issues for people and that Congress is actively working on a bill to replace the affordable care act.

"You all see that Obamacare is collapsing. It is an abysmal failure. Democrats won't admit it, the national media won't admit it but when you get down to it, when you have one health care insurer left in a county or none left in a county, that tells you it's not working," said Risch.

Risch says any successful action will need to come from bipartisan support.

He also went on to criticize Democratic congressional members for not working with Republicans in the effort to make a definite change in the American health care system.

Also of note, Senator Risch also formally endorsed Idaho Lt. Governor Brad Little Wednesday for the upcoming state governor's race.

The endorsement isn't out of nowhere, Senator Risch's wife, Vicki Risch is the treasurer for the Little campaign.

Senator Risch says he has spoken with the other candidates in the race and that they are very understanding on where he is on the issue.             

Risch says regardless when the primary is over, he will go to work to get a Republican elected.

In terms of the actual Facebook event itself, organizers say that in an increasingly digital world, it is important for small businesses to understand and fully leverage the possibilities of social media to find and engage customers.

Facebook has been one of the industry leaders on the social media front for years. Thursday they explained how they got there.

With strategies and insights to the industry, Facebook aimed to explain why social media is not a gimmick, and how it can be used effectively.

The presenters explained that the first step to using social media is to understand the "why" behind it. Experts explained that there is an audience to be reached through social media that otherwise might not be engaged.

Facebook, the way new businesses draw traffic is to create engaging and new content that sets startups aside from existing and established businesses.         

Experts said at the end of the day, one of the biggest keys to success is being able to be creative.

Risch says he was there to help support the growth of Idaho small businesses and that over the years he has seen how difficult it can be for startups to get going because of the fact they have to do everything.

"These kind of events are very helpful in that regard, they start to pick up that, yeah maybe they're a little weak in this area and maybe they can go out and try to get some help," said Risch.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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