Letters to the Editor

A cheer and a jeer to Rep. Vern Buchanan on health care issues

In response to Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) on "The day bipartisanship broke out in Washington" (Herald, April 5):

Yes, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 is a laudable step forward. Its "doc fix" should help ensure seniors continued access to quality medical services and health care providers fair and reliable compensation for services.

Its support for the Children's Health Insurance Program should afford health coverage for countless children (and in some states, parents and pregnant women) in low-income families.

Also commendable is the fact that H.R. 2 passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives, by a vote of 392 to 37.

But having thus made progress for the old and the young, what about ensuring quality, affordable healthcare for ALL Americans?

A few weeks ago, Rep. Buchanan and his Republican colleagues in Congress voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 56th time -- not to mention previously shutting down the federal government over its funding.

Before Obamacare, 47 million Americans had no health insurance; over the five years it has been in effect, the number has dropped by a third.

Moreover, the program is now expected to cost the federal government more than 10 percent less than projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

Certainly, Obamacare is unwieldy, poorly drafted and in need of reform. Somehow one doubts, however, that our congressman will initiate or join sincere bipartisan efforts to fix what's ailing -- and to protect the health of all Americans.

Jan Schneider