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Broken promises

REBECCA MCLAUGHLIN

Williamsport

I help seniors and their families regarding their burdens of covering basic needs (e.g. food, clothing, shelter) while managing the costs of medical care.

Most seniors I work with are living on extremely fixed incomes with modest (if any) savings. These are citizens who worked their entire lives to provide for their families and communities — these aren’t deadbeats looking for handouts as they’ve been commonly stereotyped.

I was promised by staff members in U.S. Rep. Tom Marino’s office repeatedly before the American Health Care Act (AHCA) vote that Rep. Marino would never vote for a bill that would make the lives of Pennsylvania seniors more difficult.

I was told that Rep. Marino looks to the challenges his aged mother faces when making decisions like this and he could never do anything that would hurt her. I was promised that Rep. Marino would protect the seniors that I work with. Despite this promise from Rep. Marino, he voted for passage of the AHCA.

How can Rep. Marino justify this vote knowing that nearly every senior advocacy group (AARP included) and nearly all health-care providers (UPMC Susquehanna included) were against this bill? How can Rep. Marino justify his vote knowing that it could drastically raise the monthly premiums seniors pay for their health insurance?

How can Mr. Marino justify this vote when it proposes to slash funding used to provide vital care for Pennsylvania seniors?

Rep. Marino’s behavior doesn’t suggest that he’s willing to keep his promises or listen to those he’s promised to look out for in his home district. He’s made appearances at closed-door events and fundraisers, but not to those most likely to feel the impact of his voting record. We deserve better than this and, with Rep. Marino’s reluctance to engage with his constituents, it would seem he knows that, too.

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