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US Rep. Tim Ryan’s experience, insights needed more than ever in hyper-partisan D.C.



Published: Sun, October 14, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Perhaps it’s the political reali- ty that the 13th congressional district is one of the most Democratic in the state. Or, it could be an indication of his strong belief in the rightness of his actions. But U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles remains steadfast in his support of the Affordable Care Act, derisively called Obamacare by the Republicans, and the federal bailout of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp.

To the five-term congressman, those issues in particular go the heart of the Mahoning Valley’s economic wellbeing and future. And, he believes, they address the concerns of residents of the district.

By contrast, his Republican challenger in the Nov. 6 general election, Dr. Marisha Agana of Warren, a political newcomer, would have voted against the health-care reform bill and the auto bailout had she been in the House.

The reasons she gives are unpersuasive and, frankly, a parrotting of the GOP’s talking points.

The expansion of health care coverage to every American is particularly important to economically hard-hit regions like the Valley, Ryan contends. He points to this eye-popping statistic: Two years ago, 1,700 families in the 17th District (now the 13th) filed for bankruptcy because of health-related issues.

Nationally, 1 percent of the population accounts for 25 percent of the health-care cost; 5 percent of the population accounts for 50 percent of the health-care bill.

The status quo was unsustainable — and unfair.

Republicans, including Agana, a pediatrician, contend that no one in this country has gone without medical care, and that hospital emergency rooms are available to those who don’t have their own doctors or health insurance coverage.

But studies have shown that hospitals do not absorb the entire cost of the free care they provide. Much of the cost is passed on to people who do have insurance and seek hospital care, thereby resulting in higher premiums — mostly paid by their employers. In other words, employers are punished for providing a benefit to their employees.

Keen sense

Ryan, who has developed a keen sense of what residents of the district need, notes that while emergency rooms do not turn anyone away, they don’t provide the necessary preventive care that is key to reducing the ever growing cost of health care in this country.

Agana acknowledges that there is a problem with health care in the U.S., but argues that Obamacare would “intervene with the doctor-patient relationship.”

She favors health savings accounts for “catastrophic events.”

The incumbent and his challenger also part company on the federal bailout of GM and Chrysler. Ford chose not to participate.

“I would have dealt with it differently,” Agana told The Vindicator editorial board during her endorsement interview. How differently? She did not say.

Therein lies the problem. It’s easy to be a critic; it’s more difficult to be a problem-solver.

Ryan correctly saw the bailout as directly impacting the Valley, in particular, and the state of Ohio in general. GM’s Lordstown assembly plant is a major component of the region’s economy.

More than 4,000 jobs have been saved, but beyond that the company is so pleased with the production of the top-selling compact Chevrolet Cruze that it has decided to come out with a diesel version. In addition, GM will invest $200 million to retool the plant in preparation for production of the second generation of the Cruze.

Agana’s willingness to roll the dice with the auto industry shows just how out of touch she is with the people she wants to represent.

Committee assignments

Ryan, who will be in line for a seat on the powerful appropriations committee and defense subcommittee, has evolved into a thoughtful, hardworking legislator.

All of the major projects in the Valley, from the expansion of the Air Reserve Base, to V&M Star’s two new steel pipe-making plants, to the Additive Manufacturing Center in downtown Youngstown, have his fingerprints on them.

Indeed, his crowning achievement could be the manufacturing center because it is the result of his hard work toward developing a Pittsburgh-Youngstown-Cleveland technology belt.

The congressman has served this region well and deserves another term in office. The fact that Ohio’s legislative delegation will be predominantly Republican as a result of the GOP’s heavy-handed approach to redistricting makes Ryan with his experience a valuable asset for the Mahoning Valley in Washington.

The Vindicator unequivocally endorses Ryan.


Comments

1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

The Vindy continues its tradition of never supporting a minority for this congressional seat.

Does the editorial board endorse only those with a little "d' after his name?

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2Jerry(498 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Obviously, the only reason anyone could have for opposing Dr. Agana is motivated by bigotry.

She is a woman, with darker skin, a "foreign" sounding name, and an accent. As we have been told again and again, the only logical assumption is that any opposition to her must be motivated by racial hate and gender bias.

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3commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

What "experience" does Timmy bring to this valley other then being a career politician? He's never held a job other then being on the government dole, so who do you think he's going to support?
By the way, this is a open question to Tim Ryan. Are you on Obamacare or are you still on the congressional health plan? You told me at a town hall meeting you would drop your current plan and "sign up" to Obamacare when it passed. Did you???

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4eagleye(59 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Tim's just another in a long line of political hacks. How about actually doing some investigative reporting for a change and let all of us taxpayers know what happened to the $386 MILLION in stimulous money that came into this district and created only 286 jobs. In case you can't do the math, that's about $1.4 MILLION PER JOB. How about the money that's gone to the "grant" requests. Anybody every go back and check to see what the money got blown on, and if anything actually ever happened with the money that actually resulted in a job? WHERE'S THE MONEY????? Timmy is responsible. Don't believe me. Just got the US Government web site of www.recovery.gov and search by congressional district or zip code. The money went to school districts to slow some layoffs, but other wise it was blown, flushed down the toilet, history, zip, nada. Why would anyone want to endorse him or vote for him. You guys need to get your heads out of your posteriors. The Vindy is mainly a Dumbassocrat mouthpiece.

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5Ianacek(909 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

"..the GOP’s heavy-handed approach to redistricting makes Ryan with his experience a valuable asset for the Mahoning Valley"

I can't believe the Vindy was so cynical as to pull Dr Agana away from her valuable work caring for sick children to a bogus "endorsement interview" when it clearly had no intention of ensorsing any Republican .

Actually , both parties engage in redistricting or gerrymandering .Over the nation , it's a zero-sum game , but it largely removes competition in the political marketplace , disadvantaging the voter & making for the wierdest looking electoral district maps in the western world ; full of barbells , horseshoes & snakes !

Yes . Tim Ryan deserves credit for helping clean up the political image of the Valley & thereby encouraging a lot of private investment , but sinking taxpayer dollars into Lordstown wasn't essential , except to a few union members & egos. The deal could have been put together with another owner & it would have had more chance of long term survival (look what happened to the British car industry after it was "rescued" )

Dr Agana raised a valid criticism, as a healthcare provider , about Tim Ryan's lack of community consultation before voting on "Obamacare" ( a term which the President has actually said he likes )

Goiven Dr Agana's Public Health background & special clinical interest in preventive healthcare , I was hoping to see some questions on these topics, & maybe there were , but for whatever reason they were hidden & the Vindy bundled all Dr Agana's answers on healthcare into " a parotting of the GOP's talking points" I heard her say she would read bills before voting for them , unlike Mr Ryan & would put the needs of the district ahead of ththe wishes of the Republican party . I would have thought that was worth a brief mention . I've for public office myself & been in a multitude of interviews . I know the score. I've read the above article & watched the Video . I have little confidence in the Vindy's report on the interview .

Giving Mr Ryan "patsy" questions & vigorously repelling all challengers on his behalf does him & the Valley no good . Whether he "deserves" to be re elected is irrelevant .He is supposed a re-presentative of all.

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6Westsider(222 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

So far every incumbent and tax increase has been endorsed - same old Vindy

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7twin(18 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

This guy is a joke. Mahoning Valley has the highest unemployment rate in the state. You dumb liberals deserve everything you get. Remember this fool said on the floor of Congress "just pass the healthcare plan to see whats in it" you got to be kiddin me.

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