Saturday, November 16, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2561, November 16th, 2013


This week two Congressman from our area voiced their opinions on the Affordable Health Care Act. From their offices, here are their statements. 
Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives).

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright spoke at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Hearing on “ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of”. Below is Rep. Cartwright’s statement:
“Thank you Mr. Chairman.
“The Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010 and it seeks to increase competition in the marketplace to help bring down healthcare costs. The law ends the practice of denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and bans annual and lifetime limits on health coverage benefits. It also enables parents to keep their children on their health care plans until they are 26 and makes small businesses eligible for tax credits to ease the burden of employee coverage. The law also works to strengthen Medicare and will make prescription coverage for seniors more affordable.
“The Affordable Care Act also helps those who were previously unable to afford coverage. New premium tax credits and an expansion of Medicaid, which I hope my home state Governor will approve, will provide new coverage options to families who could not afford coverage before. For people with incomes up to four times the poverty level, the new premium tax credits will be there to help them afford coverage.
“These tax credits are desperately needed in my district, where nearly 9.4% of my constituents live below the poverty line. 70,000—that’s 10.5%—do not have health insurance, including 6,500 children, and will be able to utilize the subsidies offered under the Affordable Care Act to finally get covered.
“In fact, in 2007, nearly 10 percent of Pennsylvania residents reported they were unable to see a doctor when necessary due to cost. Between 2003 and 2009, families in Pennsylvania saw their health insurance premiums increase by 45% to an average annual cost of $13,229. Single policyholders experienced a 38% increase over the same period. Nearly 1.4 million, or 11% of the state’s population, uninsured. Pennsylvania’s children are uninsured at a rate of 8%.
“Clearly, my constituents need the Affordable Care Act!
“For far too long, America’s health insurance system has made health care more costly, less accessible, and less efficient for families and small businesses. I support the Affordable Care Act as step toward addressing inequalities within our healthcare system.
“Now, I also want to get to the bottom of what’s going on with, and so I support oversight hearings for that purpose. However, this hearing—like many previous hearings this committee has held—is clearly an extension of the politically motivated “Repeal or Delay” tactic that some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have been pushing since the bill was first passed in 2010. It seems to me that if the Chairman were so worried about getting the website fixed so that people could actually sign up for health care, he wouldn’t have subpoenaed Todd Park to come in and testify. If the Chairman was so worried about people not being able to access affordable healthcare, he would have waited until December, after the website is scheduled to be fixed. In fact, Mr. Park agreed to testify before this committee just 2 ½ weeks later, but the Chairman refused that offer and subpoenaed him anyway. Chairman’s subpoena seems like it is part of a predetermined political strategy rather than a constructive effort to conduct responsible oversight. Unfortunately, rather than allowing improvements to the website, the Chairman’s subpoena could have the opposite effect.
“It is my hope that we can have oversight without gamesmanship and partisan politics, as this committee has been able to in the past. I really would like to get to the bottom of what is going on with the website because I want my constituents to be able to sign up for quality, affordable healthcare.
“Now, since you are all here, I will not pass up this opportunity to ask you some questions, but I reiterate I wish we could have waited to allow time to fix the website in the first place."

Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo: LuLac archives).

Rep. Barletta Statement on President Obama’s Health Care Announcement
President Attempts to Salvage Broken Promise on Keeping Existing Plans -
Congressman Lou Barletta, issued a statement regarding President Obama’s announcement that insurance companies will be permitted to continue to sell health care policies previously barred by Obamacare. Since the implementation of the law on October 1, 2013, millions of Americans have received notice that their individual market plans have been cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama repeatedly pledged that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period.” That pledge turned out to be hollow as the cancellations began to mount. In an effort to keep Obama’s broken promise, Barletta co-sponsored the “Keep Your Health Plan Act,” H.R. 3350, which will ensure that millions of Americans who have seen their policies cancelled under Obamacare will be able to keep them in 2014.
Barletta’s statement is as follows:
“For the last six weeks, Americans have been dealing with a broken website, and even worse, a broken promise. The president’s announcement today is proof that his healthcare law is inherently flawed and was sold with false promises. He has essentially admitted that when he told the American people they could keep their current health plans if they liked them, ‘period,’ it simply wasn’t true.
“Also, I question the president’s legal authority to make such a change in the law, which is why I have supported a legislative remedy to keep his promise for him. Further, it is disturbing that the president has ignored many dire warnings about the law, and has only come forward today because members of his own party are panicking about their own elections.
“Ironically, the president’s proposal will undermine his own law by keeping people from the individual insurance markets out of the exchanges, which will deprive the entire Obamacare scheme of funding it needs to exist. This is a law that will ultimately die on its own, because the president can only slap so many band-aids on it.”


At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave: Thanks for keeping us abreast of where our Congressmen stand. The newspapers keep getting smaller and smaller (except for the ads) and I'm glad to hear where these guys will land on an issue.

At 5:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Rep. Barletta's statement on Obamacare - the good news is Barletta is not my congressman. The bad news - Tom Marino is. Both reps are charter members of the "do everything I can to make sure Obamacare fails" club.


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