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U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) visited Sylvania Monday to hear residents’ concerns ranging from rising gas prices to navigating Social Security.
Toledo resident Judy Kanag, 78, waited patiently, with a file full of notes, in the City Council chambers for her turn to speak to Mr. Latta individually. The congressman spent the morning and afternoon speaking privately with more than 30 Lucas County residents at the City of Sylvania Municipal Building on Maplewood Avenue.
Among Ms. Kanag’s topics to discuss was the rising cost of fuel.
“It was $1.84 when President Bush left office. Now it costs more than $3,” she said.
Ms. Kanag, whose husband died in August 2009, said she was also having difficulty finding the right answers at the Toledo Social Security Administration office. In her folder were names and dates relating to phone calls she made to the office inquiring about a $255 credit for her husband’s funeral expenses that she still has not received.
Her many attempts to have questions answered regarding her search for affordable healthcare options through the government-run Health Insurance Marketplace were also time consuming. She said she finally received a phone call from a representative Monday morning, yet she still doesn’t know who will provide her health coverage next year.
She said Obama Care had hidden costs about which many people were unaware.
In the hallway waited Toledo resident Jan Glatzer, 67, who had the opposite opinion.
She said Republicans need to be more compassionate and caring, especially towards those who can’t afford health care, in particular her self-employed daughter. She intended to speak to Congressman Latta about the Republican's efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Congressman Latta said he has to balance the views of all 721,000 constituents when dealing with health care issues.
“I make an informed decision based on the information I receive,” he said. And that includes information gathered from talks with his constituents, from the average resident, to the local business owner. This year he and his staff have visited more than 250 locations within his precinct, including businesses, hospitals, schools, and universities.
“We have the best health care in the world and I want to ensure we retain that,” he said.
He said lawmakers’ decision to stall the individual and employer mandates for about a year was because that portion of the statute “is not ready.”
The mandates require all individuals to have health insurance, and for employers to provide health coverage if they employ more than 50 full-time employees.
Congressman Latta also said that rising gas prices could shift if Americans had more control over the oil supply. He supported the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, citing the 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs it would bring, along with 200,000 indirect jobs.
He also said the United States could supply oil to countries like China to fuel their booming car industry, while decreasing global dependence on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, who can “shut of the spigot” at any time.
Congressman Latta's staff was also on hand to assist residents in filing paperwork including for war veterans and Social Security.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.