We are often too critical of elected officials when they oppose our positions and too silent when they are in support. So, let me say, “Congratulations” and “Thanks” are due, in my opinion, to U. S. Senator John Kennedy for his recent efforts on behalf of Louisiana citizens.

The national health care debate has been plagued by partisan rancor and gamesmanship. Even in areas where there should be broad bipartisan agreement – such as ensuring insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions – common ground has given way to political opportunism. Reforms are needed. The skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs are a good place to start.

The use of generic medicines saved Louisiana citizens almost $4.9 billion in 2016. A bill, “Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Sample” Act, (CREATES), is co-authored by Senator Kennedy and will help ensure that these generic medicines can better be made available to our citizens quickly, safely and affordably.

On an unrelated issue, Senator Kennedy just introduced the “Open Internet Preservation Act” which is the beginning of a process to provide a safe and certain solution to the Net Neutrality issue. This bold step rocked the internet world and made Senator Kennedy a major player in this critical and divisive issue. The senate introduction of a permanent solution of internet uncertainty is certainly a step in the right direction. This issue and the “CREATES Act” will both be voted on in the very near future.

Finally, regarding the energy industry, I enjoyed and applaud his recent presentation at a state oil and gas annual meeting. He has always spoken boldly against unwarranted lawsuits and has proudly recognized the stellar safety and environmental records of the vast majority of these businesses. Kudos Senator Kennedy!

For the record, I am not now, nor have I ever worked for Senator Kennedy. Not everyone will agree with all these sentiments. But I encourage everyone to review his/her own record of political activism. Fair and reasoned criticism is appropriate – but please make an effort to mix in a few “atta-boy’s” along the way.

 

Randy Hayden

Baton Rouge

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