OLEAN — U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Olean, brought his re-election campaign Thursday to about 40 residents of Eden Heights of Olean.
Addressing an issue pertinent to his audience, Reed told the crowd gathered in the large community room that with his position on the Ways and Means Committee, he would work to make sure Social Security and Medicare stay for generations to come, even if it means people would have to work longer or get less.
In response to a question, Reed said he’ll continue to push to change a Medicare regulation that requires people to pay their own hospital bill if they are observed for a day rather than admitted.
“A lot of this came from the Affordable Care Act,” added Reed, who has voted numerous times to abolish what’s widely known as “Obamacare.”
“What are you going to replace it with?” asked one man.
Reed said that in addition to controlling health care costs, the method of payment needs to be reformed. Quality care and efficiency should be rewarded, as opposed to the current system of fees for each service, he said. Paying to cure an illness should be the goal, the congressman added.
Studies show half of health care dollars are spent in the last six months of life, according to Reed. Many times, the quality of life is not considered, he added. A hospice volunteer in Washington, D.C., Reed recalled the conversation he had with his mother about her end-of-life wishes.
Most of all, Reed said he wanted to make health care “affordable and accessible,” without the government mandates of President Barack Obama’s health care legislation.
National security is also a major concern of the congressman’s.
“We are living in a much more dangerous world,” he told the residents. “I want to keep the fight overseas, but we’ve already seen some examples (of terrorism) across the country.”
With 11 days to go before this year’s presidential election, Reed asked the residents gathered if they recalled another battle like the one between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. None did.
Reed said he was going to push his campaign “all the way to the end,” and indicated he thinks Republicans will be able to retain control of the House even if they lose the Senate.