Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 29, 2013

Congresswoman predicts entitlement reform

Legislator visits Tipton to talk with residents.

Tipton — According to newly elected Rep. Susan Brooks, reducing the cost of Medicare is the biggest issue facing Congress. It needs to be fixed right away as a means to reduce the national debt, she said.

Brooks, R-5th District, visited with Tipton residents Thursday at the Pizza Shack to address national issues in her first visit to the community since taking office.

“A number of freshmen members from both parties believe Medicare and Social Security have to be changed in the future,” she said.

Brooks said the House budget contains “a premium support option” that will give people the opportunity for private health insurance or traditional Medicare. She said the plan is to have the government pay for those taking the private insurance option.

Under this approach, Medicare enrollees would choose a private health plan and the federal government would pay a predetermined contribution to that plan.

“With reimbursement to doctors and hospitals being reduced, there is a concern that there will be a shortage of primary care physicians,” she said. “There are 10,000 seniors rolling onto the Medicare roles daily.”

Brooks said there should be needs-testing that ensures wealthy people are not forced to sign up for Medicare. Benefits should be based on fiscal need, she said.

“When it was created, they didn’t expect people to depend on the program for their medical care,” Brooks said. “There are not enough young people paying into the system.”

Brooks said Congress is focused on the national debt, noting the “No Budget-No Pay” legislation was passed by the House and Senate.

“If each house didn’t pass a budget, we wouldn’t get paid,” she said. “The plan to reduce the debt has to be balanced.”

For the first time in four years, the Senate passed a budget. And now that both chambers have a spending proposal, the priorities are known, she said.

“We have to work together to reduce the debt,” Brooks said. “Republicans don’t want to raise taxes, and Democrats want to increase revenues.”

She expects the vote to increase the debt ceiling not to take place until the end of May.

Brooks said when the sequester bill was signed, President Barack Obama never thought budget cuts would be implemented.

The $85 billion in cuts that took place earlier this year amount to 2 percent of the federal budget, she said.

“Across-the-board cuts were not a smart way to put them into place,” she said. “We are now leaving it up to the administration of each agency to implement the cuts.”

Brooks said there have been positive discussions between members of both political parties about tax reform.

“There will be a change of rates,” she said. “It will include changes in how deductions are taken and will close loopholes. We’re falling behind the rest of the world. We’re losing our competitive edge.”

She also expects legislation to be passed concerning immigration reform.

“We’re waiting on the Senate legislation,” Brooks said. “It may happen this session.

“Right now there are too many undocumented workers in the country that are not paying taxes and receiving benefits,” she said. “We need to reform the guest-worker program because there are a lot of people that want to work in this country and return to their native country.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Waterford Place looking to expand More senior living options could be on the way in Kokomo. Waterford Place Health Campus, located in the 800 block of St. Joseph Drive, is looking to expand with 11 new senior duplexes after receiving approval from the Kokomo Plan Commission’s plat co

    July 31, 2014

  • BMV offering driver tests in 11 languages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering drivers tests in 11 languages other than English that are spoken across Indiana. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said Wednesday the decision was made at the urging of businesses, un

    July 31, 2014

  • Tionna Brown 02 Kokomo celebrates Tionna Brown's gold medal victories Little boys with pretend gold medals around their necks fought Wednesday to get their pictures taken with a pint-sized superstar who had won three real gold medals for herself. Twelve-year-old Tionna Brown just returned from Texas after competing in

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • KFD Rescue 2 Staffing changes leave Kokomo Fire Department with one rescue truck A shift in how the Kokomo Fire Department is staffed and responds to calls has some firefighters worried they will not have access to all the equipment they need. City officials, however, maintain there will be no change in the quality of service pro

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kokomo Police officers reach out to public Tuesday Kokomo police will be out in full force Tuesday in area neighborhoods. In addition to their regular patrols, officers will be out getting to know residents and the issues they may have as part of National Night Out, a crime prevention event. National

    July 30, 2014

  • Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years. A report from the Department of Health and Human Serv

    July 30, 2014

  • Indianapolis man buys 2 $1M tickets in 3 months INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man is celebrating his second $1 million Hoosier Lottery prize in the past three months. Lottery officials say Robert Hamilton won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off ticket he bought last week at a convenience s

    July 30, 2014

  • Frankfort teen dies after rescue from Indiana city pool FRANKFORT (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy pulled from a central Indiana city pool has died. Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says Adrian Alanis died in an Indianapolis hospital on Tuesday, the day after he was rescued from the deep end of the

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    Two people were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores.

    July 30, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries