Government works when both sides come together

Some political scientists say Congress has become a cesspool of partisan politics. Democrats and Republicans view every issue strictly from their party leaders’ viewpoints, it is said. Constituents’ best interests take a back seat.

Not when U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are involved.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump signed the ACE Kids Act, a bipartisan bill by Brown and Portman. It is intended to improve health care for children in low-income families — those enrolled in the Medicaid program. Specifically, the measure is aimed at children with complex medical conditions ranging from cancer to heart disease.

By one estimate, about 2 million children with such complex health conditions could be affected by the new law.

Much of the news coverage of Congress focuses on partisan battles. But bills passed on voice votes, including some important ones, are more common than sometimes is recognized. That was the case with the ACE Kids Act. It flew through both the House of Representatives and the Senate quickly, with approval coming through voice votes.

Good for Portman and Brown for working together on an improvement that may be of critical, perhaps even life-saving importance to many families.

The two senators find themselves in opposition frequently. Both are viewed as leaders within their parties.

But all that goes away when something of obvious importance — in this case, helping children in low-income families — comes along. Bravo to Brown and Portman!


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