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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Lankford talks health care, possible shutdown

  • Congressman James Lankford discusses political issues at a community forum.
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  • Congressman James Lankford held a community forum Tuesday night to discuss questions citizens had regarding a variety of issues.
     
    One of the main issues discussed was the Affordable Health Care Act and the chance of a government shutdown.
     
    “We are not trying to do a government shutdown,” Lankford said.
    Instead, Lankford said he, along with other members of Congress, are putting together a process of how to fix Obamacare. But, he said, it is a process that will take time and cannot be fixed overnight.
     
    “We want to get rid of all of Obamacare,” he said. “That is not a secret.”
     
    Lankford said a lot of people voted for the Affordable Health Care Act and have their reputation on the line and want it to work, but they’re watching it unfold and fall apart.
     
    “There’s the dream and there’s the reality,” he said.
     
    Lankford said Max Baucus was one of the “elite guys” in the Senate to help pass the health care act but said Baucus said, “if you don’t do this better, this is going to be a train wreck.”
     
    “What we’re watching as this rolls out is a rolling, slow moving train wreck,” Lankford said.
    Lankford said the intentions of the Affordable Health Care Act were to reduce the cost of health insurance to make sure every American had coverage and to increase the quality of health insurance.
     
    “No one believes that quality is going to go up with this,” Lankford said. “No one believes cost is going to go down.”
     
    Lankford said as the Affordable Health Care Act gets rolling in the next couple of months, people will start asking why things are happening and he, along with others, is going to “win one battle after another.”
     
    “We’re going to get rid of it a piece at a time,” he said.
     
    Lankford said although it is likely most people will see premiums go up, there will be some people whose premiums will go down, though it will be people who live in heavily regulated places like California or New York.
     
    The health care exchange starts next Tuesday and Lankford said, “We still don’t know what the exchanges are.”
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    He said there are a lot of questions about how much it will cost and how it will all work that still need to be answered.
     
    “Every person that voted for Obamacare should live under it,” Lankford said, adding that those who didn’t vote for it shouldn’t be forced to use it.
     
    Other issues discussed at last night’s forum included Syria, illegal immigration, fair tax and the United Nations.
     
    Lankford said he is “adamantly opposed to America being in Syria” but said he does believe America should be diplomatically involved.
     
    He said, referring to illegal immigrants and their paths to citizenship, believes every person is to be treated with respect. However, he said America is a nation of laws and immigrants should go about the legal way to become a citizen.
     
    Lankford wrapped up the forum with comments about Benghazi and the parents of those killed and the fact that the war on terrorism is continuing.
     
    “Continue to pray for us and do not lose hope on our nation,” he said.
     
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