News from Representative Smucker

   

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You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter! This week you can read about my reaction to the shocking United Airlines incident, my Sunday column in LNP, meetings with constituents, and my dinner with a family from Syria.


United’s Actions Were Unacceptable

A recent United Airlines incident on an April 9th flight drew national attention after a video surfaced of a passenger being forcibly removed from the plane, bleeding and limp.

In the video, the passenger was neither unruly nor aggressive towards authorities. United Airlines and the Chicago Department of Aviation should be ashamed of themselves. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I sent a letter to United CEO Oscar Munoz, demanding answers to the many questions we were all asking ourselves after the video. You can read my letter here, and read about this shocking incident here.

The Status Quo is Not the Solution

In 2010, supporters of Obamacare said health care costs would decrease. They said, “If you like your plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Instead, Pennsylvanians face skyrocketing premiums and unaffordable deductibles. They also have been forced from their plans and have had to find new doctors.

People in five states and in nearly one-third of counties nationwide, along with 40 percent of Pennsylvanians on the exchange, have only one insurance provider option. Last year, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department approved 2017 Obamacare rate hikes averaging 32.5 percent for individual plans and 7.1 percent for small group plans. I’ve met with countless constituents to talk about their health care concerns. The current system is unsustainable.

You deserve patient-centered health care that provides access to care from the doctor and the plan you choose, at an affordable price. I’m also working to lower health care costs for seniors, expand insurance options for small businesses, and ensure kids have access to the care they need. At this moment, we face a unique opportunity to achieve these goals, and I’m not going to waste it. We cannot afford, nor should we settle for, the status quo. We desperately need success, and I’m committed to doing my part to achieve it.

You can read more about my health care priorities in a column I wrote for the Sunday LNP here

Reforming Our Tax Code

Our current tax code, which has nearly tripled in length in the last 30 years, is outdated, confusing, and a drain on our economy. Furthermore, our tax code continues to expand and impose excessive burdens that restrict opportunity and economic freedom. As millions of Americans have filed their taxes over the last few months, individuals and small businesses have felt these burdens. One of my priorities in the House is to work in a bipartisan manner to reform and simplify our tax code. We cannot leave our children with the responsibility to reform and improve what we can get done today.

If you would like to share your experience with our current system, you can email me here. Together we can create a fair tax code that works better for everyone.


Photo Journal

I visited the Coatesville VA Medical Center this week to discuss ways we can work together to improve veterans’ transition to post-military life. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Patel – Acting Chief of Staff, Nancy Schmid – Associate Director of Patient Care Services, Kirk Fernitz – Director of Community Relations and Congressional Affairs, Carla Sivek – Director of Coatesville VA Medical Center. You can read about my veterans legislation here.

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On Tuesday, I went to DaVita Kindey Care in Lancaster and spoke with nurses, administrators, and patients about the needs of those coping with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Access to high-quality care is critical to those who need it, and I thank the DaVita team for providing a valuable service.

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Wednesday evening was special. I was invited to the home of the Almahasneh family – refugees from Syria. Our meal together was delicious and the conversation even better. We were also joined by Omer Faris Himat from Iraq. I want to thank Laura Kanagy of East Chestnut Street Mennonite ChurchChurch World Service, and the Lancaster community for welcoming the Almahasneh family and Omer to build a new life in America.

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Before leaving Washington for the April district work period, I led a bipartisan group of my colleagues on a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Members of the Congressional Task Force Against Anti-Semitism also attended. It’s an extraordinary museum and a moving experience. I encourage everyone who visits Washington to take time and visit the museum. You can get tour information from my office here.

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I met with local leaders from the Humane Society to discuss issues related to animal welfare. I am a cosponsor of the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act – bipartisan legislation that would make it easier for women to leave abusive situations and take their pets with them. I look forward to continuing our working relationship and passing this legislation.

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I was glad to meet with representatives from the National Restaurant Association from more than a dozen small businesses here in our district. We met at Greenfield Restaurant and discussed health care and credit card processing issues.

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When I’m traveling throughout the district, it’s great to speak with the people I represent. I toured the GlaxoSmithKline facility in Marietta where they employee hundreds of people. We discussed issues related to vaccines and bio-tech manufacturing. If you would like me to visit a school, organization, business, or association, you can contact me here.

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Sincerely,

Lloyd Smucker

 

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