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Stutzman gives up on repealing Obamacare

Says system still broken; prefers states' solutions

It’s too late to repeal the federal health care law, according to a congressman who has voted many times to eliminate some or all of it.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, said Thursday he was asked a day earlier whether he would support repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which began providing coverage this year, and the Dodd-Frank consumer protection law.

“I think we’re past a point of just a repeal because what we had before, that’s gone. So if you repeal it … we have nothing at all,” Stutzman told a town hall meeting at Lutheran Hospital organized by the local chapter of the National Health Underwriters Association.

“We still have a broken system,” Stutzman said about the Affordable Care Act. “ … It’s a bigger mess today, so let’s go back to the drawing board, and let’s find solutions for it.”

Stutzman praised the Healthy Indiana Plan, a state medical insurance program that, unlike Medicaid, requires low-income Hoosiers to pay part of the costs.

“Letting the states cooperate a lot more in doing some of this would be helpful,” Stutzman said. “I’d rather see more of those federal dollars shoved back to the states anyway and letting states figure out how it works best for their communities.”

The Washington Post has reported that the Republican-controlled U.S. House has voted 54 times since 2011 to repeal, defund or alter all or parts of the Affordable Care Act, which became law in 2010.

Members of the underwriters group shared stories Thursday about their troubles with the Affordable Care Act: delays in completing online insurance applications, big increases in policy premiums, a company that pays overtime to full-time employees rather than expand the hours of part-time workers so it does not have to provide insurance to those who work at least 30 hours a week.

“We’ve got employers going berserk,” underwriter Denny Wright said about reaction to the transition re­insurance fee, which runs $63 for each worker in a group insurance plan.

Underwriter Matt Hatfield said individual and group insurance premiums are rising to absorb the costs of insurance subsidies for qualifying people enrolled in the Affordable Care Act.

“The bill for all of this is just starting to arrive in the mail,” he said.

Stutzman responded: “I don’t know how it works, quite honestly, without a lot of pain. I mean, it’ll work, but there will be so much pain.”

More than 8 million Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act during a six-month enrollment period, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The next open enrollment period will begin Nov. 15 and end Feb. 15.

bfrancisco@jg.netIt’s too late to repeal the federal health care law, according to a congressman who has voted many times to eliminate some or all of it.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, said Thursday he was asked a day earlier whether he would support repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which began providing coverage this year, and the Dodd-Frank consumer protection law.

“I think we’re past a point of just a repeal because what we had before, that’s gone. So if you repeal it … we have nothing at all,” Stutzman told a town hall meeting at Lutheran Hospital organized by the local chapter of the National Health Underwriters Association.

“We still have a broken system,” Stutzman said about the Affordable Care Act. “… It’s a bigger mess today, so let’s go back to the drawing board, and let’s find solutions for it.”

Stutzman praised the Healthy Indiana Plan, a state medical insurance program that, unlike Medicaid, requires low-income Hoosiers to pay part of the costs.

“Letting the states cooperate a lot more in doing some of this would be helpful,” Stutzman said. “I’d rather see more of those federal dollars shoved back to the states anyway and letting states figure out how it works best for their communities.”

The Washington Post has reported that the Republican-controlled U.S. House has voted 54 times since 2011 to repeal, defund or alter all or parts of the Affordable Care Act, which became law in 2010.

Members of the underwriters group shared stories Thursday about their troubles with the Affordable Care Act: delays in completing online insurance applications, big increases in policy premiums, a company that pays overtime to full-time employees rather than expand the hours of part-time workers so it does not have to provide insurance to those who work at least 30 hours a week.

“We’ve got employers going berserk,” underwriter Denny Wright said about reaction to the transition reinsurance fee, which runs $63 for each worker in a group insurance plan.

Underwriter Matt Hatfield said individual and group insurance premiums are rising to absorb the costs of insurance subsidies for qualifying people enrolled in the Affordable Care Act.

“The bill for all of this is just starting to arrive in the mail,” he said.

Stutzman responded: “I don’t know how it works, quite honestly, without a lot of pain. I mean, it’ll work, but there will be so much pain.”

More than 8 million Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act during a six-month open enrollment period that ended March 31, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The next open enrollment period will begin Nov. 15 and end Feb. 15.

bfrancisco@jg.net

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