By Wayne Allen
Earlier this week 6th District Congressman Bill Johnson visited Scioto County and took part in many activities, including sitting down with the Daily Times to provide an update on what he and his staff have been doing in Washington.
“Anytime we’re out and about in the district (we) talk to business people, the job creators, that’s a big part of what we’re trying to do, make sure we understand the concerns they have,” Johnson said. “Jobs and the economy continue to be some the biggest issues, if not the biggest issue to most people in our district — those along with the health care law.”
Johnson said he and his staff get a lot of questions about the Affordable Health Care Act. Johnson was chosen to give the Republican address last week on the topic of Affordable Health Care Act.
“The president has given a break to big business and a break to people that support him. But, he has not given that same break to the American people and to our seniors. (There was) $216 billion dollars cut out (of) Medicare Advantage, we don’t want to see those cuts go forward. Because that’s going to impact hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the actual number is about 794,000 people will be affected by the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.
“When you combine that with the number of insurance policies that have been canceled and the lack of sign-ups by young people. They’ve got a real problem with this health care law,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what it’s going to take for the president to understand, he needs to come to the table step up and do the right thing by protecting our seniors and protect the promises that have been made to the American people by getting health care on the right track. There are ways to do that without the federal government assuming control.”
Johnson believes he was asked to give the Republican Address because of his Senior Fairness Act with an emphases Medicare Advantage.
Johnson said he and his staff are working on several pieces of legislation.
“We’ve got several high profile pieces of legislation, that’s either on the floor (of the U.S. House of Representatives), has been on the floor or will be on the floor very soon. Some of them dealing with health care, for example the Telehealth Bill, to establish a common definition of what Telehealth means,” Johnson said.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.”
“We’ve also got several energy related bills, one of them is Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act. That’s designed to stop the administration from going forward with their String Buffer Zone Rule rewrite that would cut upwards of 100,000 jobs indirect and direct in the coal industry,” Johnson said.
Johnson is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
When asked about a status update on the federal level about USEC and their pending loan guarantee application with the Department of Energy Johnson said, “they USEC) completed their R&D (Research and Development) program and now the ball rests with the Department of Energy,” Johnson said. “We’ve spoken to the secretary of energy. The secretary (of energy) needs to formally decide, are we going to use USEC for our (United States) uranium enrichment or are we not. Because that’s what USEC, their investors and board of directors needs to know, in order to know if they are going to have a viable business. We have pressed the energy secretary on that and I’m like everyone else I’m holding my breath, waiting on the energy secretary to make a decision.”
For more information about Congressman Bill Johnson and his activities visit, billjohnson.house.gov.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT