Response to a Recent Letter to the Editor

Posted on May 19, 2011 

Those who have closely followed my career in Congress have a clear picture of how I make decisions.  Nonetheless, the author of a recent letter in the CDT claimed to have been following my ‘rhetoric’ and my voting record, adding that he could detect “no sign” of political independence.  He went on the state that I’m “against affordable health and medical care for the poor, women, children, the disabled and the elderly.’ Ignoring the facts, this was a baseless attack not only my voting record, but also my character as someone who spent nearly three decades in a non-profit health setting helping those of all ages and backgrounds cope with life changing disease and disability.  

“In this time of economic unrest, there are undoubtedly families across the Fifth District that cannot afford health insurance for their children and unfortunately fall through the cracks – this legislation will hopefully provide these families with a safety net.”  I made these remarks during last year’s debate in support of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) re-authorization. This is a program that finds it origins right here in Pennsylvania, which empowers parents with the ability to purchase insurance on the open market.  While not perfect, and more flexibility could have been given to the states, the bill’s merits outweighed its shortcomings and ultimately it would provide for a larger number of insured children in the Fifth District. Despite my own party’s opposition to the legislation, I supported the bill because I know first-hand the benefits SCHIP has brought to Pennsylvania.

My constituents want a clean environment to ensure their safety, a strong economy to provide a healthy standard of living, and a peace of mind knowing that our country’s social safety nets and national defenses are guaranteed for their protection. I stand by every vote I’ve ever cast to achieve these goals and represent the best interests of 680,000 individuals that I have the honor and privilege to serve every day.
Had the author truly been following my words and actions, he would know that my vote on SCHIP is just one representation of the principled, common-sense and independent leadership that I am intent on offering the good people of the 5th Congressional District.

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