To the Editor,

By now I’m certain that most Livingston residents are aware of the passage of the AHCA-the American Health Care Act by the House of Representatives. The very name is ironic-it’s goal is to hurt Americans, not help them.  The Republicans are jubilant. The rest of us-not so much. What some people might not be aware of is the YES vote by our Representative, Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Let’s just briefly summarize what is wrong with this bill. It would  bring major cuts to the Medicaid program which helps pay for care for the poor and disabled. The big winners tend to be the higher income population through tax benefits and more assistance to purchase their premiums. The losers are the older, poorer and sicker Americans, the very people who were helped by Obamacare.

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It is estimated that older Americans could pay five times what younger people would pay in premiums. States would be allowed to waive minimum benefit standards that ALL of us with health insurance currently enjoy, and the rules that prevent insurance companies from charging higher prices for those with pre-existing conditions.

Overall, about 22 million people across the nation could lose coverage. Every major medical and hospital organization opposed this bill. It will have a devastating effect on rural and inner city hospitals who have a higher percentage of vulnerable people. That too will cost ALL of us.

So let’s get back to Rodney Frelinghuysen. As he always does, he never reveals what his vote will be. When you call his office his staff gives the same reply-they do not know how their boss will vote. I have given up asking his position on issues-if the staff even knows they must be instructed not to say.

What I have not given up on is calling, emailing and writing to him on issues that are important to me and one of them is obviously health care. I visit his office at 30 Schuyler Place in Morristown-there is convenient parking there.  He has not held a town hall in three years. He needs to do so in order to give all of his constituents an opportunity to share their views and how his votes harm them.

From all appearances, he does not care what they think. He is aligned 100% with the Trump agenda according to the respected fivethirtyeight website in all categories, including the environment and gun regulations. Does that sound like someone who represents a district in New Jersey? When I discuss the congressman people say-”he’s a nice guy.” Well, a really nice guy doesn’t vote that way, and besides, being a nice guy is a really low bar to set for governing

The midterms are in 2018 and a change in representation in our congress would go a long way in stemming the tide of damage that Trump can continue to do. Call and write your congressman-he loves to state how many of his constituents have asked him to repeal Obamacare.

What about the rest of us? You can join organizations actively working to keep the pressure on him-NJ11 for Change and BluewaveNJ the 11th on Facebook.  Each Friday, NJ11 for Change hosts Fridays with Frelinghuysen in front of his Morristown office. It’s time to Repeal and Replace Rodney.

Please join us. It’s time for him to go.

Amy Ipp