By Teresa Moore
"Americans are increasingly concerned about the economy, the lack of jobs and amount of regulations coming out of this administration and continued intrusion into the lives of the American people and health care."
That was the message from U.S. Sixth District Congressman Bill Johnson when he met Friday with constituents at the Ironton Senior Center.
During a meeting billed as "A Sit With The Seniors," Johnson said fears about the economy and particularly Medicare are major issues in this election and have been for years. Johnson said even his 80-year-old mother buttonholed him two years ago when he was first elected and made him promise he would not eliminate Medicare.
And he did promise.
"That's your money; you paid into it," Johnson told the seniors. "I support and will continue to support current seniors continuing to receive fully-funded Medicare benefits without changes."
Johnson said the issue is with those 54 years and younger when they approach the time when they may want Medicare, a federal program that is projected to run out of money by 2024. He pointed out there are 10,000 new enrollees every day. The question is how to provide medical care to these people through a system that is going bankrupt.
Johnson said the new health care law was "one of the largest tax increases on American people, ever."
For John Robbins, of Coal Grove, who attended the session, the health care law was a form of taxation without representation.
"It should have been voted on by the people," Robbins said.