The American Hospital Association’s three-quarter page ad on April 17 and the April 22 letter “Smith showed courage in opposing health bill,” from the association’s CEO, Elizabeth “Betsy” Ryan, foster the myth that Congressman Chris Smith fights for his constituents’ health care. Wishful thinking and false impressions don’t change the public record.
In 2010 Smith voted against the Affordable Care Act and the Health Care Reconciliation Act. In 2011 he voted to repeal the ACA and the Prevention and Public Health Fund. In 2012 he voted for the “Ryan Budget,” which would have defunded the ACA, then went on to co-sponsor another attempt at repealing the ACA.
In 2013 he voted again to repeal the ACA. In 2014 he voted to suspend the individual mandate. In 2015 he voted yet again to repeal ACA and co-sponsored the Defunding Planned Parenthood Act. In 2016 he voted for the “Restoring America’s’ Health Care Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015,” which would have gutted the major provisions of the ACA and make it unworkable.
Despite thousands of constituent phone calls, letters, emails and his refusal to attend a recently organized constituent health care town hall, Smith only took a public stand on AHCA a month ago when it was obvious it wouldn’t pass.This isn’t “courage, compassion, and commitment” as claimed by Ryan. It’s years of ignoring the health-care concerns of his constituents and working vigorously and consistently to prevent women, the disabled, families and the working poor from obtaining basic health care.
Kevin J. Akey
This letter also appeared in the Asbury Park Press.