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Reed is against farm office closing

    BENTON—Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) heard public concerns at a Saturday, June 9, town hall meeting in Benton.
    Comments from the 18 people present ranged from jobs, healthcare costs, energy independence and the closing of the local Farm Service Agency in Penn Yan.  When asked about the FSA, Reed said he has been aware of the closure since it was announced.  He said he had sent representatives from his office to public hearings and was against the closing.
    Reed also heard that the healthcare system should be focused on keeping people healthy and not focus so much cost on care once a person is sick.  Reed said ultimately this would not resolve the main problem, rising healthcare costs.  However, he did say he liked the idea.  He explained the capitated model is one where doctors are encouraged or paid to keep a person healthy and out of the hospital.
    He explained many politicians do not want to discuss healthcare because of the perceived backlash from the 2010 November elections.  Reed added changes do need to be made, and the government should make controlled adjustments and fix the whole healthcare system on what is shown to work.
    Yates County farmer Terry Button asked about jobs and transportation costs.  He said as a business owner he has to “think hard before making any capital investments.”  Reed said the government needs to pass a long-term highway bill, something he proposed in 2011.  At the time, Reed’s office said the last long-term surface transportation bill was passed in 2005 and a new long-term bill would provide private construction firms with funding certainty for highway construction projects.
    At the start of the meeting, Reed gave an overview of what congress had been up to recently.  He said they have been working on appropriations bills.  He added he thinks the House of Representatives can avoid any “shut down” concerns like last year.  However, he added the Senate might not be in the same situation.
    When talking about the U.S.’s $221 billion in interest owed, Reed said he is looking at European companies like Italy and Spain.  He said they cannot let the annual cost of interest balloon to $600 billion to $700 billion, because the U.S. doesn’t have the money to cover that.




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