Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 8, 2013

Lawmakers believe Obamacare unraveling

Brooks looks for a delay in implementation.

The Affordable Care Act is starting to unravel, Howard County’s two representatives in the U.S. House said, as the date for implementation draws closer.

The first of the provisions for a national health care program, also known as “Obamacare,” starts to take effect in January.

“It is unraveling,” Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th District, said. “People are finally getting to do what [former House speaker Nancy Pelosi] told us to do, people are finally reading the bill. It doesn’t work; you can’t force people into already broken programs unless you’re going to ration their care and the quality of their health care.”

Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th District, said the nation is starting to feel the consequences of the legislation and people have to start signing up for the health insurance exchange programs in October.

“I think it will be interesting to see if the president or the administration requests a delay in implementation because they can’t get it done,” she said. “Insurance companies have to prepare for it and employers are overwhelmed.”

Brooks said she met with small business owners last week and it was the top issue of concern.

“Some businesses are considering splitting up their companies so they don’t have more than 50 employees in a division,” she said. “Some are not hiring new employees when they could, which is a huge problem.”

Brooks said companies are already hiring more part-time employees instead of full-time positions so they don’t have to provide health insurance. She said companies are going to change how they’re doing things to avoid the health care mandate.

“I can see more people losing their employer-sponsored health care,” she said. “Companies are considering taking the penalty and paying the fine and not worrying about health insurance. Many people looking for a job are more interested in the benefits than the actual pay.”

Brooks noted both houses of Congress have voted to repeal the medical device excise tax of 2.3 percent but it’s uncertain if President Obama will sign or veto the legislation.

“The tax was implemented to pay for the Affordable Care Act,” she said. “That funding will have to be replaced.”

Brooks said the proposed tax will cost jobs in Indiana, which is one of the leading states when it comes to manufacturing medical devices.

“Companies across the state said they were planning to expand, but because of the tax can’t roll out new products,” she said. “It will cost jobs in Indiana.”

Rokita said there is going to be an “awakening” among the American people when it comes to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

“There is an opportunity to do this right,” he said. “Like any big issue there has to be a national discussion. You cannot pass big bad ideas in the dead of night, force it down people’s throats and expect it to work out.”

Rokita vowed to vote at every opportunity to repeal the ACA or eliminate funding for parts of the program.

He said even if the Republican-controlled House passes a repeal measure it’s only one third of the decision-making process with the U.S. Senate and President Barack Obama holding the trump cards.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • IUK to give Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne honorary degree Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will be at Indiana University Kokomo’s May 13 commencement to accept an honorary degree from Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, IUK officials announced. In a statement, McRobbie credited Marchionne with engi

    April 15, 2014

  • Cheryl Marner aims to cross finish line during this year's Boston Marathon Cheryl Marner was a mile from the finish line at last year's Boston Marathon when all of the runners in front of her suddenly stopped. The race had come to a halt, and at the time, she didn't know why. "There was a lot of confusion," she said. "I hea

    April 15, 2014

  • Property taxes to increase Many of the residents in Howard County can expect an increase in their property taxes when bills are mailed out later this week. Tax rate increases, a smaller homestead tax credit collection from the state and a decrease in the county's overall net a

    April 15, 2014

  • INDOT to add trees along U.S. 31 interchanges The medians and right-of-ways along the U.S. 31 interchanges in Kokomo will be getting a facelift this fall. The empty acres along the U.S. 31 interchanges leading into the city will soon be planting grounds for a mixture of native and ornamental tre

    April 15, 2014

  • Veteran surprised with long overdue award

    Eighty-six-year-old Korean War veteran Jim Wright was surprised Monday afternoon with a long overdue award -- the service medals he earned more than 60 years ago. Wright moved into Wellbrooke of Kokomo in March. He was one of the first residents at t

    April 15, 2014

  • Public Eye: Blowing across county lines Grant County has wind problems, and as an editor recently and quite rightly noted, “Wind doesn’t care about county lines.” So Grant County’s issues over a proposed E.ON Climate & Renewables wind farm are becoming Howard County’s issues as well. If th

    April 14, 2014

  • Courthouse Bombing5 - 1987 mrf Oral history project of the 1987 courthouse bombing planned Even though it's been 27 years, those affected by the April 15, 1987 Courthouse bombing remember it like it was yesterday. On that day, Robert Gray Sr., a defendant in a drug dealing trial in Howard Circuit Court, set off a bomb in the office of the

    April 14, 2014 11 Photos

  • Free magazine downloads for patrons The Kokomo-Howard County Public library recently invested more than $10,000 in a subscription service that allows patrons to download issues of up to 81 magazines to their smartphones and tablets for free. The subscription to Zinio cost the library $

    April 14, 2014

  • Chittick farm named Hoosier Homestead FLORA -- Land is in John Chittick's blood. Since his great-grandfather Archibald Chittick moved to Carroll County, one or another of John's ancestors has owned farmland near Cutler. John Chittick looked after the family land for decades before retiri

    April 14, 2014

  • Question Time: Delete one technology forever

    “If you could erase from existence one piece of technology from our modern life, what would you pick and why?”

    April 13, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
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