Smith seeks out direction from constituents
By Tim Linscott
Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith (R) visited the Perkins County Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting on April 22 to discuss several topics and get a feel from constituents what he should be pursuing while in Washington.
Smith was on an Easter break from Capitol Hill and was eager to get to rural Nebraska and find out what is important to the people of his district.
A component of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that Smith feels will have a negative impact on rural hospitals like Perkins County Health Services, is the provision that a doctor must be on the same floor for all procedures.
“If a phlebotomist is drawing blood, a doctor has to be on the same floor or they can’t do their job,” Smith said. “I think this is too intrusive and not letting people do their job.”
He has introduced a bill that would delay that part of the Affordable Care Act for one year and until a study can be done to show the impact the act would have on rural hospitals across the United States.
Smith called the day the Affordable Care Act passed as ‘his darkest day politically.’
With recent events in Syria, Smith said he felt the government was ready to send troops to that country, but the American people stood up and said, ‘no.’
“We have to continue to take your concerns. This is about your ideas. We need to take them back to Washington,” Smith said.
In regard to the water issues facing Perkins County and southwest Nebraska in general, Smith wants to let local government settle differences.
“Let’s not make this worse. I’d like little federal involvement,” Smith said. “I want locals to work it out without federal involvement.”
Growing up in Scottsbluff County, Smith said he’s seen up close water issues and how they affect local economies and lives.
“We need to reflect policies that can be flexible from one river basin to another,” Smith said.
He mentioned acts like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act had the end result of giving ‘tighter legislation to bias in agencies.’
“We’re trying to undo some of the rules and regulations that Congress never intended on some of these statutes,” Smith said. “In regard to agriculture, we are feeding the world here and I don’t want the federal government impeding that.”