Is Congressman Ken Buck your representative?

Actually, there is a good chance if you are reading this, that indeed Congressman Buck is your representative for Colorado’s 4th District.

When the recent AHCA was being debated and about to come up for a vote, Mr. Buck was prepared to vote it through. He was willing to do this without truly knowing how it would affect the citizens of his district. At a recent semi-public town hall held the day after the vote was canceled on this bill, a list of the 10 mandated components of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) were listed for everyone in the room to view. When questioned about these 10 mandates Mr. Buck did not seem familiar with them at all. He glanced at them and deflected the question by saying, “It is my understanding that the bill that went down yesterday, most of those things would have been covered, I don’t know for sure.”

Why did he not know for sure? The vote was to have occurred the day before. The issue of health care, so critical to millions of Coloradans, should have been studied intently. He should know everything he can about an issue before casting a vote. He should know how his constituents would have benefited or been adversely affected by his decision. Why weren’t these 10 mandates known to him when he was prepared to vote on a replacement bill? How could he not be 100 percent sure that these mandates were or were not in the new bill? Why were they in such a hurry to pass a bill without fully understanding their actions?

Or was he just avoiding a truthful answer? He went on to write an article appearing in The Hill blog (“Governing Means Supporting AHCA” — March 29, 2017), just four days after the above town hall praising the new bill’s roll-back of mandated essential health benefits. For your review these 10 mandated health benefits that are secured for us in our health insurance policies by the ACA are: 1) out-patient services; 2)prescription drugs; 3) emergency care; 4) mental health services; 5) hospitalization; 6) rehabilitation services 7)preventative care; 8) laboratory services 9) pediatric care — dental and vision; 10) maternity and newborn care.

In his article, Mr. Buck explains that ultimately he was in support of the bill to replace the ACA. He claims that the president has earned his support and that party leaders deserve our faith. He says we have to trust the president and party leaders. Why? We sent him to Washington to represent us, the citizens of Colorado’s 4th. If he can’t be our voice in Congress, then why is he there? He is there to be our advocate. This does not mean that he falls in step behind the president and party leaders at every turn without careful analysis. We need him to consider how every vote, and every stance he takes will affect us here in Colorado.

On another issue, Rep. Buck continues to scoff at any serious discussion of the validity of human activity influencing our global climate. He blatantly discounts scientific data and study based predictions that experts who have devoted their lives to researching have produced. Rep. Buck has praised the president’s executive order to repeal the Clean Power Plan that was initiated two years ago in an effort to gradually reduce carbon emissions over time. This is an agreement reached in accord with the Paris Climate Agreement with input from 195 countries leading the world to protect our global home. We as Americans and more specifically as Coloradans deserve a representative that will take science seriously. If the United States, as a world leader, backs out of our agreement, then it is likely that many other countries will follow. We need a representative that will display sincere stewardship toward our land, our water, our air, our entire planet. Our businesses, large and small, our agricultural community and our health depend on it.

Our children depend on it. So again, although Congressman Buck may be the representative for your Congressional District in Washington, is he truly representing you? We all need to pay close attention.

Karen McCormick, DVM, is a 22-year resident of Longmont and semi-retired local veterinarian.