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The issue here

October 18, 2012
The Daily News


Many recent campaign ads for Representative Benishek portray him in hospital scrubs, in keeping with his former calling as a physician, a most honorable profession which should automatically command our respect.

However, the issue here is the past 22 months during which he has represented the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan as our member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

As part of the Republican majority in the House, Representative Benishek has voted to gut the Clean Water Act and allow greater pollution of the three Great Lakes bordering the First District and all bodies of water across the country.

He has opposed the 2013 Farm Bill because it is the avenue for administering Food Stamps for our poorer citizens.

He has voted some 34 times to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), which, if ever successful, would reopen the 'donut hole' to increase seniors' health-care costs, disallow young people being on their parents insurance to age 26, and reinstate the prejudice of pre-existing conditions.

Perhaps his most egregious action has been to vote twice in favor of the budgets put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Vice Presidential candidate.

These Ryan-Benishek budgets propose to abolish Medicare as we know it and replace it with fixed-value vouchers which will shift increasing health care costs to seniors directly.

The $716 billion identified as savings from Medicare are proposed by the president to be used to lower drug premiums for seniors and to extend the life of the Medicare program by some eight years, while the Ryan-Benishek budgets would instead funnel those same savings into tax cuts for the top 1 percent.

The Republican majority in the House has absolutely refused to even consider the slightest adjustments to the revenue side of the equation for achieving balanced reforms for essential social safety-net and educational programs.

They have allowed their pledges to Grover Norquist for no more taxes to outweigh their oaths of office to serve the American people as members of Congress.

I would suggest we restore to Representative Benishek the opportunity to resume his honorable profession and return to him the noble title of doctor.

William D. Rice




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