2018-04-12 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

When will Mr. Bergman learn?

It must be campaign season. Why else are we suddenly hearing from Representative Bergman almost weekly? In his most recent communication, Mr. Bergman noted that the city of Manistique, Alger, Schoolcraft, and Charlevoix counties were successful recipients of USDA Rural Development funds to assist in purchasing vehicles for emergency services in the 1st District.

Specifically, he stated, “I applaud USDA and the Trump Administration for realizing the importance of our rural communities and prioritizing these investments in the 1st District.”

His hypocrisy is overwhelming. We all remember that Mr. Bergman voted to approve the American Health Care Act of 2017 that would have had a dire impact on Michigan’s 1st District. Many highly respected organizations, including the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Wall Street Journal, the George Washington University Department of Health Policy and Management, and others determined that the bill would:

-Severely threaten our vulnerable rural hospitals that provide the medical services needed for those being transported in the new vehicles Bergman is suddenly celebrating.

-Increase insurance premiums, making coverage unaffordable for many in our district.

-Jeopardize the health coverage of nearly 44,000 residents by eliminating Medicaid expansion.

-Eliminate emergency services and other essential benefits such as hospitalization, mental health, substance abuse services, and prescription drugs.

For Mr. Bergman to celebrate grant funding for buying emergency vehicles when he voted for a bill that would reduce access and availability of emergency health services in communities across the district is the height of hypocrisy.

When will Mr. Bergman learn that he may run for office, but he cannot hide from his record? We deserve better.

Forest Jones

Traverse City

Dear Editor,

Something doesn’t smell right. Jack Bergman recently received the Guardian Award from “60 Plus”, an organization which bills itself as the conservative alternative to the AARP. The award is supposedly in appreciation of Bergman’s “tireless efforts on behalf of senior citizens.”

Bergman voted for the recent Republican tax cut for the wealthy, which blows a $1.5 trillion hole in the federal budget over the next decade – a hole the GOP hopes to fill by cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That’s bad for seniors and would also threaten the survival of several critical care hospitals in the 1st Congressional District.

Bergman also supported repealing the ACA and replacing it with the AHCA, the ultimately unsuccessful Republican healthcare plan. According to the CBO, if the AHCA had become law, premiums for seniors would have skyrocketed and millions would have lost their health insurance.

So who would give Bergman an award for his efforts on behalf of seniors? 60 Plus is an “astroturf” organization – designed to look like a grass roots group, but funded over the years by folks such as the Koch brothers and the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel industries. It favors privatizing Social Security and opposes the ACA. And it is a member of the “Cooler Heads” coalition, which consists of organizations that deny climate change.

I don’t believe for a minute that Bergman got this award for working on behalf of senior citizens. I think he received it for his “tireless efforts” representing major GOP donors who are mostly interested in lowering their own taxes, maximizing their business opportunities, and shrinking or eliminating any government program that might get in their way.

Tom Gutowski

Elmwood Township

Leenanau County

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