Replay, transcript of Frelinghuysen’s latest ‘tele town hall’

1

 

Here is a partial replay of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-11th Dist.) constituent conference call of June 27, 2017, and a transcript, both courtesy of NJ 11th for Change.

The first 10 minutes are missing because of technical issues.

 

Rodney Frelinghuysen: Undersecretaries are yet to be confirmed. And we need those people confirmed.  And we also I may say, have a wonderful foreign service.  We have a dedicated group of diplomats who are there regardless of who the president is.  And one of the things I do oppose, there are a number of things that do concern me about the president’s budget proposal,  is that he’s planning to slash the state department budget by a third. That would do damage, we need to marry what we are doing militarily around the world with diplomacy.  I have a very high regard for our foreign service.  They are a dedicated group of people.  We have commitments around the world which are humanitarian, which are under the State Department’s umbrella and I think we need to be supportive of those. Otherwise we’re going to be sending some of our own troops in for peacekeeping purposes because there will be so much famine and hunger and despair that there will be no other alternative than warfare. So we’re staying on top of the president.

Questioner:  Well I hope he gets some help because when the Secretary of State leaves, who’s minding the store?

RF: Yeah, Well he’s got some good people I must say we need a lot more of those people confirmed sooner rather than later.  Thanks for getting on the line.  Interesting and very important aspect of certainly the Senate’s work.  Lenny in Montville, you’ve joined my telephone town hall meeting, it’s congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Lenny asks about telemarketers and handicapped placard misuse

Lenny: OK Rodney, thank you for taking my call, I have two issues I’ll let you respond if you’ll be kind enough. Number one, I get in touch with your office. It was a while, about these disturbing phone calls that have been coming in about everything. I almost didn’t take your phone call because your call came in from Kansas. People are getting so many phone calls and I know some cannot possibly stop them because they’re coming in from different countries, but the ones that are coming in from our country I think you got to do whatever you can to stop them. They’re just getting crazier and crazier.  And number two, I am disabled, and I’m quite disturbed and if I go to Costco and park my car, I see people walking out of the car half the time and you can’t go over and say, “what’s the matter? You got a hearing problem?” But there’s a lot of people coming out with these automobiles that are handicapped, I don’t believe it. Somehow we got to get some regulation on it through the police departments, to have the right to go challenge somebody, to really find out, why do they have handicapped, allowed to use handicapped provisions. They’re phonies! You know, it’s just like anything else, people take advantage. It’s the world we live in, and I was just hoping that maybe you could just see what you can do with these two problems that I have.


RF: Yeah, let me comment. Are you, have you subscribed to the Do Not Call List? For calls coming in to your house?

Lenny: I’ve done that at least three times over the years.  It doesn’t work with the cell phones. They’ve even started using the cellphones now to bother you and no one’s doing anything about it.  I called your office about this. I did call your office about this more than a year ago.  I know there’s only so much you can do and there are issues that are more important in life, but this really is disturbing to most of us.

RF: Would you be good enough after this call to call my office in Morristown? 973-984-0711. I’d like to give you a more definitive answer over the telephone.  And may I say, I’m not expert on how one qualifies for a handicapped sticker or a device to put on their windshield or for that matter on their license plate. I should hope that people wouldn’t, although we do have some, would have the nerve of parking in a disabled spot because I know the fines for people who do not have a displace sticker are pretty steep. Depending on the municipality it can be $300 or $400 for parking in a handicapped spot.  Which Costco do you use?

Lenny:  I use the one in Wayne. What they do some of them might even use their husband’s or their wives’ handicap passes that they have. They figure, “Oh they have one, so I’ll just use it even though they’re not with me and I know it’s a hard thing to stop. I think you can just assign it to a police officer to question a person even if they don’t look so handicapped and people shouldn’t look so insulted that a policeman is going over to check and go around to say to them, “you know why are you handicapped?” There’re a lot of scams going on. I don’t have to tell you, Rodney.”

RF: Yup. Well if you let me know, If you just use that telephone number I gave you a couple of minutes ago. Call my office and I do think some of the larger stores, Costco and Walmart, there are people, and in some cases may have even employed some security guards, and what you’re talking about  obviously challenging people who are using the handicapped card, and in some cases maybe it’s the spouse but not necessarily the person with the disability. But it’s a legitimate issue. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Christine in Stanhope. It’s Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. You’ve joined my telephone town hall meeting.

Christine is disappointed in his handling of the healthcare bill

Christine: Yes, hi Mr. Frelinghuysen.

RF: Hi there.

Christine: First I’ve got to say I’ve voted for you in the past, I’m a registered Democrat, but you’ve gotten a number of votes from me in the past. But I’m really disappointed in your take on the whole healthcare thing. Just get it off the plate of Congress and push it to the Senate with the expectation that they’re going to fix it. And now as most people know, you may not agree, but most people know, they didn’t fix it and now they may if they possibly can, ram it down our throats anyway. Many disabled people with be without insurance when they get kicked off of Medicaid. And as a senior citizen, I’m concerned also. Both my parents ended up in nursing homes before they passed away. And if you don’t have Medicaid to help you out there, you have to go through your entire life savings.

RF: Yup

Christine: And then I guess your kids are going to have to take you in because Medicaid is what pays for nursing homes.  I don’t think a lot of middle class people think that cuts to Medicaid is going to affect them, but it certainly will.

RF: I hope quite honestly, and I’m concerned about Medicaid. I served as a Morris County Freeholder, I was involved in looking after the Medicaid residents in the country nursing home.  As I get around my congressional district, I look at a lot of people who are in need. I work with a lot of organizations that you’re familiar with. I think we need to be careful. That’s one of those issues. I am hopeful that the Senate package if we ever see it will do more to meet the needs of people on Medicaid. It is a legitimate concern and one that I’m focused on.  There is a view, and this is sort of part and parcel of the house bill, that we needed to give states more flexibility to improve Medicaid through innovation.  Many of the Governors, Republican and Democrats, a lot of Medicaid money is coming into their states. They wanted to be in the driver’s seat.  So that was part of that motivation, to put more of that responsibility in the chief executive officer’s hands.  But I’m aware of it, I’m concerned about it. And I hope the package that comes from the Senate improves on what we did.  Thank you.

Steven in Nutley, it’s congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. You’ve joined my telephone town hall meeting.

Steven talks about  fees on the MVC website, then moves on to Single Payer, and reclassifying Medical Marijuana

Steven: Thank you sir for accepting it. I also happen to be a handicapped person for well over 20 years because of cancer was cut in half.  To answer his question with fines, first of all requires doctor’s certification. I’m getting ready to do mine. Now in New Jersey, it’s got to be renewed every three years. But my concern, well a couple of concerns. One was on the motor vehicle website in New Jersey, as a handicapped person I should not be charged a convenience fee to do it online.  

RF: Really?! They charge you?

Steven: It doesn’t make sense. They charge us a convenience fee for processing online. As a matter of fact it should be waived for everyone, not just handicapped to keep the people out of motor vehicles. Doesn’t that make sense sir?

RF: Yeah, with so many people online that’s a disincentive.

Steven: Exactly

RF: People get in their cars to go to the motor vehicle locations. It’s asinine.

Steven: Absolutely. I agree with that totally, sir.  If you could do anything about that in New Jersey, I’d appreciate it.

RF: I will talk to Senators Bucco, Oroho, Pennnacchio, Senator Tom Kean. Obviously your state legislators need to know about this and they will as a result of your phone call.
Steven: Thank you!

RF: What was your other issue?

Steven: The other issue was the current healthcare situation in the US. Instead of trying to get fancy with all this stuff, why don’t we just make Medicare mandatory from the time they start working, I mean they pay for A and B already through taxes, why not make it mandatory for everyone. And anyone if they’re not a citizen but a resident alien, and they haven’t had enough time to pay in, that they’re allowed to buy in the way we’ve paid in all along, our whole life and give us a basic package, with no pre-existing conditions obviously. I’ve watched people, (I also have a degree in nursing by the way, sir)

RF: Excellent

Steven: From UMDNJ. Plus another degree in business, but all that aside, if we were just to open up Medicare and force everyone to buy in, we wouldn’t have to go through all this rigmarole we’re going through now.

RF: Yeah.

Steven: I mean it makes so much sense to simplify it. Have everyone pay in, whether they’re 10 earning money, or 100 earning money. Whenever they earn money you put some in!  I don’t know why they’re trying to go through all the gyrations, to do this and that and whatever. Just do it. I mean I’m in the VA. There’s one other thing. I’m also a veteran.  And the VA cannot prescribe for PTSD or anything that has to do with pain relief for the cancer. I can’t get medical marijuana through the VA because of its classification.

RF: Yuh.

Steven: Even here in New Jersey I have to go to a special doctor that’s not in my network and not in my coverage and pay for it privately in order to get pain relief from 20 years of cancer. My wife who’s a critical care nurse, said to me after a couple of months of working with medical marijuana, I turn it into my own edibles so I’m not smoking that much.  I can’t afford it.  I’m paying over $600 an ounce for it. That’s twice the price of gold!

RF: Have you been, which do you use, Lyons, or East Orange or do you
Steven: I’m registered in East Orange and I’ve used the other one in Lyons. For bio feedback to lessen the pain.

RF: On Monday I visited the East Orange Medical Center and met with the staff to discuss everything, electronic medical records, disability claims that are screwed up in Newark.
Steven: When I came out of the military I applied in Newark, because I have a level 3 leg operation, I’ve had three knee operations because of my service.

RF: Thank you for your service

Steven: I got turned down twice for disability, even thought, and the only reason for that was when I finished my tour I chose rather than leave service and take a disability right then.  Now I’ve been turned down twice. The month I came out of the service I applied then. That was my first application.

RF: I’d like to help you with the VA system. You don’t have to give your last name, I’d like you to call Anthony Pryer in my office in Morristown.

Steven: I heard the number and I’ll get if off the web if I don’t have it memorized.

RF: 973-984-0711 Anthony is my Veterans guy. We work very closely with Lyons

Steven: I’m sorry, my wife just got me a piece of paper and pencil  (they give the number again)

RF: Anthony Pryer. We carry 6-700 cases that relate to the VA, trying to get claims, trying to get services.

Steven: One of the biggest things as I said that would help thousands or possibly even millions of veterans, if we got marijuana reclassified from a no medical value drug, to some thing that is.  They got it above heroin, you know, something of no use.

RF: It is approved in NJ for medicinal use but there’re not a lot of places that have avail- you call me and we’ll follow up on it. Thanks for taking time on the line.
Patricia in Wayne, thank you for your patience. You’ve joined my telephone town hall meeting.

Patricia asks about VA benefits for a WWII vet

Patricia: I have a question. I have a WWII veteran that I take care of. He’ll be 92 years old. We go to local hospitals in the area. Will they ever be able to accept veterans benefits for these soldiers, for this gentlemen?

RF: Well congress passed I think two years ago, something called The Veteran’s Choice program. Not everybody have access because of where they live or perhaps because of some limited ability to got to East Orange or to Lyons. And this was bipartisan. That congress set up this choice program. Choice stands for some acronym I can’t remember. But it enables a veteran, and thank you for looking after one of the greatest generation. It enables a veteran, you’re in Wayne so you go to St. Joe’s?

Patricia: Well we’ve gone to Chilton

RF: Chilton is good yeah. Wayne Valley. There is the Choice program and congress does fund the veterans’ choice program. The veteran does not have to go to either Bernards Township or to East Orange. If you were to call Anthony, the young man I mentioned in the last conversation I had, in my Morristown office, we’ll make sure you’re covered.

Patricia: I’ll give him a call. Can I ask one more question?

RF: Yes.

Patricia: With regards to the Memorial Hall in Paramus, several years ago we put in an application for this gentleman. He has bone cancer.

RF: Yeah

Patricia: I understand we have to reapply? I’m trying to keep him home if I can. I don’t want to put him anywhere if possible.

RF: Thank you for keeping him independent, which I assume you are.

Patricia: I’m tryin’

RF: Thank you, and let me say the veteran’s home in Paramus is a State of NJ operated, but I’d be happy to inquire on your behalf if you’d be good enough to call my office and give the gentleman’s name, I’ll be happy to write a letter to the Paramus home. I interact with some of the Veterans in the Paramus home because there’re some good people over in Pompton Lakes at the Elks Club. They often have Vets come over there for breakfast and sometimes pasta dinners. I have a connection over there in Paramus I’d be happy to use it on your friend’s behalf.

Patricia: If I could get back all the paperwork I had to do the first time for the application.

RF: I apologize for the paperwork

 

Patricia: I understand it but I thought they kept the paperwork on file. I’m trying not to do that because he doesn’t want it. He was homeless

RF: I have office hours in Wayne once a week.  

Patricia: You do?

 

RF: Yes, I think it’s Judy Lemus that operates out of the Wayne Municipal building. And if it’s too difficult for you to get there, I’ll have her visit you or the gentlemen you’re with.  

 

Patricia: When is she there?

 

RF: I think it’s Wednesdays or Thursdays. If you were to call Anthony Pryer. I think it’s Wednesday. We have office hours.

 

Patricia: I will definitely give him a call. I appreciate this I really do.

 

RF: Well good. And we will help him with Paramus and you with the paperwork this time. Thank you for your patience.

 

Christine in Morristown. It’s  Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, you’ve joined my telephone town hall meeting. Hi there.

 

Esperanza asks for particular attention to the Middle Class

Christine: This is Esperanza. How are you?

 

RF:How are you? Very well, thank you.

 

Christine: I just wanted to let you know how difficult it must be for you to make a decision in the (Health?) package. And I think you’re doing a good job.  I just want you to pay particular attention to the MIDDLE class, because the program is now either you make less than $50,000 so you have a good package, but if you make more than that and less than $135,000 your insurance is very expensive. So I just wanted that when you make decisions you pay particular attention to people in the middle.

 

RF: Be very careful. Absolutely. I agree with you.


Esperanza: You’re doing a great job.

 

RF: Thanks for calling.

Sarah in Morristown it’s Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. You’ve joined my town hall meeting. Hi there.

 

Sarah hopes for RX discounts at big box stores in NJ

Sarah: Hello

 

RF: Is this Sarah?

 

Sarah: Yes it is. I just wanted to ask a question in relation to pharmacy coverage, prescription coverage. I know if you go to Target you’re allowed to get 5 percent if you use a Target red card and so forth. However in the state of NJ it’s not permitted. It’s permitted in other states. I just wanted to know if there was anything to be done about that since we do produce the majority of the drugs and so forth in the state?

 

RF: Yeah

 

Sarah: Is there anything that can be done about that?

 

RF: I know that Target and other big stores do have reductions. You’re saying they’re not allowed in NJ?

 

Sarah: Yes.

 

RF: I’ve heard that and as a result of your call I’m going to find out why. (chuckling)

 

Sarah: Yeah I don’t understand since the pharmaceutical companies are all here. (giggling)

 

RF: No I don’t think it’s a result of a diabolical plot on the part of the pharmaceutical companies. They can speak for themselves.

 

Sarah: Right

 

RF: And if you hear about  friends that go to Walmart or Best Buy, wherever they go to get some wort of a medication, medicines or drugs, what’s good for one state should be good for NJ. But if you could possibly just call my office, just leave your name and the issue at 973-984-0711. And if you talk to Judy. I will get a good explanation of why that is. That doesn’t sound right to me.

 

Sarah: Judy. Ok thanks for your help.

 

RF: You’re welcome. Harold in Wannaque, thanks for your patience.  It’s Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. You’ve joined my town hall meeting.

 

Harold asks about IRS deduction elimination and regrets that Obamacare made qualifying for Medicaid easier than when his father had to deplete all resources before qualifying.

Harold: Yes, congressman, thanks for taking my call. I have a question about this new tax plan they’re floating in regard to eliminating certain deductions. They’re talking about eliminating property tax deductions, sales tax, medical deductions, which in excess we are paying. My wife and myself are on fixed income. We’re retired. We’re paying in excess of probably $17,000 in those areas between the Real Estate taxes, the fees for the premiums for Medicare part B, supplemental insurance plus the drug things.  And I’m just

 

RF: Yeah, congress shouldn’t make it worse by not allowing the deductibility of state and local property taxes.

Harold: Right

 

RF: You should know that in a state like NJ, NY, PA, that’s a no go for us.

 

Harold: OK

 

RF: I think we do need to take a look at tax reform. We do have obviously a very high corporate tax rate. That’s something we have to lower to be competitive. But it’s a no go for those of us in high tax states, like NJ that we’d do away with these types of deductions. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. People will talk about it but these are pretty important deductions in a state where we have some of the highest taxes in the entire country.

 

Harold: Absolutely. I have one other question. In regard to listening to people on the calls about Medicaid.

 

RF: Yes

 

Harold: Now I went through the situation on Medicaid with my dad about 20 years ago. I went through the process. At that time it was three years of look-back, I had to produce records. Now it’s five years. So I don’t understand how when Obamacare went into affect, how automatically these people got onto this stuff. Not that I want to deny anybody that’s in need of this stuff, but what do they, I mean do these people have to go through the same procedure to do that?

 

RF: Well I think that it’s a little unclear to me, but I do think that over the last five or six years a lot of people sort of like who never paid into medicare or for that matter having never paid into social security, were able to get those benefits having never contributed.

 

Harold: I’m talking about the Medicaid situation where I had to go back and produce these records?

 

RF: Yeah

 

Harold: I had to produce his financial records and all this other stuff. When Obamacare went into effect you had millions of people that qualified for Medicaid. Now I don’t feel anybody should be denied if you’re really destitute and you need this stuff but my dad went through $46,000

 

RF: You had to pay down, you had to use all of his resources in order to qualify

 

Harold: Absolutely

 

RF: Yeah, quite honestly I don’t know when that was liberalized, but it’s patently unfair-when I was in the State Legislature, I certainly remember the issue and I certainly remember it now, that some people would get a free pass not having depleted their resources and would be automatically eligible for medicaid. And I think that’s something congress needs to look at as we have this type of debate. Thanks for getting on the line.

 

Vince in Chatham, it’s congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, you’ve joined my Telephone Town Hall meeting.

 

Vince: Hi

 

RF: Yes is this Vince?

 

Vince talks about a fee charged to investment clients that he believes is not in their best interest.

Vince: Congressman, hi. How are you?  I was wondering if you are aware of the Department of Labor rule affecting the investment advisors and actually investors that was actually pushed through the back door by the Obama administration.

 

RF: The Fiduciary Rule you mean?

 

Vince: Yes. I’m a CPA in Florham Park and an investment advisor. And it’s basically requiring investment professionals to charge an advisory fee on retirement accounts, which is not tax deductible by the way. First of all to be tax deductible it has to be paid from a taxable account separately, it has to exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income and then if you are in alternative minimum tax, it’s definitely not deductible. So they force this rule on people and I’ve had some clients come to me or not clients, prospects. People that buy and hold investments are now being forced to be charged a 1 percent fee, 75 basis point fee, often doubling, tripling their costs. This is not the best interest of most investors. And it actually got through the back door, through the Dept. of Labor, it never went through congress. I think the only way to get this thing reversed is to actually have a bill before congress.

 

RF: I’m familiar with the Fiduciary Rule, which obviously I had probably 2,000 people, you know,  write me about either doing away with it or delaying it. In other words basically putting a lot of people out of business, often people who had long term reliance, you know relationships with clients as you do as someone who’s involved with tax preparation, and as a certified public accountant. But this relates to a fee that went through the backdoor?

 

Vince: Merrill Lynch, all the big investment advisory firms are required, they’re not required, they’re charging a fee to work with clients on an investment account. An advisory fee. And again that is not in the client’s best interest in most cases unless you’re doing a lot of trading, then the fee is less than transaction costs. But for investors that buy and hold, to charge and advisory to give someone investment advice is not in their best interest and ironically it’s being ruled as a fiduciary interest, to be in the client’s best interest. It was really, all the talk among Democrats about being against Wall Street. The only thing it did is take all retirement assets and annuitize it for these big brokerage firms in the industry. Goldman and Merrill and Morgan, all of them. It doesn’t matter which one. And again, I’m in the business, and I have a hard time charging people a fee that I know is not tax deductible.

 

RF: Would you be willing to drop me a note in Morristown summarizing this? And actually you can call my district manager Aura Dunn at 973-984-0711. I was unaware of this fee. I was aware of the fiduciary rule that put a lot of long term advisors in a bad position with their clients but I’m unaware of the fee and I want to thank you for bringing it to my attention.

 

Vince: Clients or prospects have come to me from other firms, and people won’t know about this because it hasn’t gotten any media attention. But people when they go to their advisor are going to be asked to or encouraged to form an advisory relationship with them.

 

RF: It’s gotten my attention as a result of your call (chuckling)

 

Vince: If you need 10,000 signatures I’m sure when people get the bill they’ll be lining up

 

RF: But I want to get your name so I can talk to you and there are obviously some  good people listening who obviously  probably didn’t know it. Perhaps they did know it. And you’ve done a public service by advising me of the fee and I look forward to talking with you.

 

Vince: Thank you very much.

 

RF: It looks like we have time for one or two more questions. After that, those remaining on the line will be transferred into voice mail where you can ask questions or leave comments. You can be sure I listen to each message. But these telephone town hall meetings have had such great participation that I get a lot of comments after them, and please know your opinion is valuable to me. Another question from Steve in Wayne. Thanks for your patience.

 

Steve is concerned about a lack of bi-partisanship

Steve: Thank you very much, Congressman, for these town halls. I’ve listened to a few of them and I really have learned a lot from listening to you and especially the questions from the constituents. It’s been really fascinating and wonderful to see how America, how bright Americans can be.

 

RF: Indeed

 

Steve: One of the things that kind of worries me is the whole idea of a lack of Bipartisanship. It’s been going on, I’ve been watching it for the last 50 years. It used to be where you guys got along. It seems to me that’s no longer happening. What can YOU do, what can people-

 

RF: Let me tell you I get along very well with the 52 members that make up the House Appropriations committee.  We work together, believe it or not our budget, this is discretionary spending, about one third of the federal budget is discretionary, the rest is sort of on auto-pilot by paying down the federal debt and entitlements. And it’s a bipartisan committee. My counterpart is Nita Lowey from NY so there’s a NY-NJ. We do all of our 12 bills, the Democrats from time to time may take a position against a bill, and maybe a negative position because they’re unhappy with some of the things the president’s proposed in his budget. May I say not all the Republicans are on the same page with the president either. But we negotiate our bills.

 

Steve: Why is what you’re doing and your committee the exception rather than the rule?

 

RF: Yeah, I just don’t know. I just think we’re at a time of heightened anxiety. You know I think there’s a lot of concern, a lot of people are unhappy about the results of the election. They want to reverse it. They’re unhappy with a lot of things the president has said, his choice of words.  You know I’ve never seen in my time in public life, so much vitriol and anger and you know. I believe in free speech but there’s really the absence of civil discourse.

But I have to tell you of the 435 people that I deal with here, I probably know three quarters of them on a first name basis. I have the opportunity to travel to the Middle East, to Iraq and Afghanistan, Lebanon, sometimes Turkey, China. They are a superior group of people but I do think a lot of things are ginned up by people on the hard-right, the hard conservative right, and on the hard left.

And so it’s become, you know I think unpleasant, I think in many cases because there is no civil discourse. And it seems because the media repeats it, it’s all about partisanship. But things are getting done down here.

We passed a bipartisan veterans bill the other day which allows the Veteran’s administration to go after age-old problems in regards to issues which relate to veterans’ care. We did pass our military construction bill to make sure our military families are looked after, you know when soldiers are deployed into the Middle East, and to get the Veterans’ Administration off their rear end.

 

Steve: That’s wonderful and those are all good things, but I’ll give you an example in my own life, I have had people, friends of mine who have literally stopped being friends with people including myself because my politics is different than their politics.

 

RF: Yeah

 

Steve: And that’s really so un-American, I mean we’re all entitled to have our opinions, to have our differences, whether I’m a conservative, whether I’m a liberal.  I mean, come on, we’re all in this together.

 

RF: I share your concerns and you know I have to say, you know, at times my better half, my incredible patient wife has sharp words for me about some of the things we’re doing down here. And then I say you look at business associates sometimes as division between large or small businesses, there’s a lot of acrimony. I hope it will go away, but certainly I want to make sure that I set a model for civility and communicate respectfully.

 

Steve: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. That’s so important, and yet I really think it’s something that both the houses, both the House and the Senate have to begin to affect people. I mean we’re in this. We’re Americans. We’re all in this together.

 

RF: Yeah and you know after the attack on our whip, Steve Scalise, within the last 20 days, there was a modicum of togetherness. I hope we can keep that together, because I think the American people are sick and tired of the partisanship and the attacks which has sort of characterized the last sort of six, seven, eight months. And it has to get better and I just want to assure you that I’m going to try to make it better. Thank you.

 

Steve: I appreciate that very much.

 

RF: Thank you. One last question. David in Morris Plains. Thanks for your patience, it’s Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen.

 

David asks that people be more self-reliant

David: Thank you Mr. Frelinghuysen. My question is more of a comment. I’m taking care of both my mother, my wife’s mother. My mother doesn’t have any money. I keep her at home. What I’m trying to say is: Self-reliance, responsibility.

 

RF: Yeah

 

David: My healthcare costs has increased but it’s also part of what I earn.

 

RF: Yeah

 

David: What I’m trying to say is I’ve had relationships with caring for others. I’ve seen their medical, their doctors tired from the paperwork, the red-tape, the structure that’s being put in place so.

Earlier I heard the people that are benefiting are the rich and the insurance companies. I might be mistaken but it was my understanding that insurance companies operated on a percentage return of maybe 4 percent. 

What I am seeing is that perhaps with this new budget not having the revenue that’s expected adding to the nation’s debt, what are we going to have to do in order to survive for our children, and also for the benefit of the people that do provide us the medical care?

 

RF: I won’t speak to the medical…yeah I appreciate–I was in– I went to a meeting, a bipartisan meeting this morning with the fellow I mentioned earlier, Dr. David Schulkin who ran Morristown Medical Center. Well he ran the hospital but the good thing about it, he’s a medical doctor.

And he was saying the transition to the sort of electronic age, means that today many of the medical people that HE employs and I assume is true with many physicians, is they spend one hour with the patient and two hours filling out forms, doing all sorts of paperwork in order to justify, you now their medical decisions as well as justify the costs of various interventions.  I admire you obviously for looking after others. I think we need to be mindful. You probably lack any respite or break in that process.

David: I didn’t mean to blow my horn. What I want to do is thank you but also ask that the people that participate in the town hall be mindful of the responsibility that you have. And isn’t it something that we do for others and benefit ourselves instead of asking where’s mine? Can we get back to that a little bit in this nation.

 

RF: Well that’s what John Kennedy said, “What can we do for our country?” I think that’s self reliance and responsibility on self. Thank you for ending the telephone town hall meeting on a high note. Thank you very much and thank all of you for participating in tonight’s telephone town hall meeting. At this time everyone will be transferred into voice mail. We will get back to you. Thank you. You should know I’m out there listening. I represent 54 towns and I’m out there listening all the time and I’m out there listening in a variety of ways. Thanks very much for being on the line this evening.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 MorristownGreen.com

1 COMMENT

  1. Kevin – the NJ11 folks do a great job getting the recording and then hammering out a transcript. I am curious though, have you ever requested a transcript or recording from Frelinghuysen’s office, and if so, what was their response?

LEAVE A REPLY