Letters: Work together for reform

The same Obamacare that the president and Senate Democrats stubbornly refused to discuss with Republicans is imploding. The website that’s getting all the attention is awful, and could pose security risks to people who enter sensitive personal data. But the site is only a symptom of a disastrous system that is opposed by over 60 percent of Louisianians.

Baseline health insurance coverage for a 30-year-old single, nonsmoking woman in Louisiana will jump about 266 percent next year. Unaffordable costs are why younger and healthier people won’t bother with health insurance until they need it. In the meantime, the system will be flooded with older and sicker individuals, driving overall costs even higher.

Peterson also complains that Washington must return to a “regular budget process.” She’s actually right, but did she ever raise that complaint with Sen. Landrieu? For three years, Senate Democrats didn’t even propose a federal budget. When they finally did this year, they called for nearly $1 trillion in higher taxes and proposed a spending plan that would still produce budget deficits 10 years from now.

Part of regular budgeting is passing specific appropriations bills for federal agencies. Back in June, the House of Representatives passed the Homeland Security funding bill on a bipartisan basis.

It included an amendment to delay the skyrocketing flood insurance rates that are hurting some Louisianians. You know what happened to that bill? It died in the Senate. The Chair of the Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Mary Landrieu, can’t get her colleague, Harry Reid, to even bring it to the floor for a vote.

So maybe it’s time for Landrieu and Peterson to stop the name-calling. Instead of suggesting “a tea party amputation,” these Louisiana liberals should start listening to hard-working Louisianians and get to work with Republicans on health care reform and budgeting that will actually benefit the American people.

U.S. Rep. John Fleming

congressman, Louisiana 4th District

Minden