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e-News/3/2013

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The Week Just Past: Another Lively Town Hall Meeting

Proof Positive: Obamacare is "Unworkable"

Sen. Roberts' Address on Obamacare: Many Questions, Few Answers

"Why Health Care Costs Are About to Explode'

Student Loans Interest Rates Double Thanks to Senate Inaction

Salutes: First Responders Everywhere, Welcome Home 508th, Morristown National Historical Park

Follow Rodney on social media: @USRepRodney & https://www.facebook.com/rfrelinghuysen

The Week Just Past: Another Lively Town Hall Meeting

"As is my longstanding tradition, I conducted another town hall meeting last weekend. This time, my "listening tour' stopped in Wayne, the largest municipality in the re-configured 11th District.

"As I anticipated, the topics were varied and the discussion was lively -- immigration reform, Obamacare, gun violence, protecting our Constitution, Benghazi, the "sequester,' the disgraceful IRS scandal, to name a few.

"A lot of issues were aired. A few solutions were discussed. While we did not agree on every front, it's clear that democracy is alive and well in the 11th District, which is entirely appropriate as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our nation tomorrow!

"Thank you to those who took time to come out and participate. For those who could not make it, keep an eye on my calendar. My "listening tour' may make a stop near you soon.

"On this 4th of July, and every day, please keep in mind those who have sacrificed so much to protect our right to assemble and speak freely: our men and women in uniform and their families."

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Proof Positive: Obamacare is "Unworkable"

The Obama Administration announced yesterday that it will delay, until 2015, implementation of a central component of Obamacare - the employer health care mandate.

"This delay is additional confirmation that the President's new health care law is unworkable. It is pushing health care prices up and costing jobs," Rodney said. "Rather than making it more expensive for families and businesses to have access to quality and affordable health care, we should be working in a bipartisan way to implement reforms that returns control of your care to you and your doctor."

The so-called Affordable Care Act requires all employers with more than 50 full-time workers provide health insurance or pay steep fines.

"The damage is clear: I have heard from businesses across northern New Jersey that this is the policy that has caused them to consider downsizing their workforce or cutting workers' hours in order to avoid this new mandate."

Sen. Roberts' Address on Obamacare: Many Questions, Few Answers

Senator Pat Roberts (KA) delivered his weekly radio address on Saturday and focused his remarks on the implementation of Obamacare. His words are worth a read, so a full transcript follows:

"This is Senator Pat Roberts.

"I am honored to represent the people of Kansas in the United States Senate. Let me be the first to wish you and your family a happy Independence Day as our nation recognizes our hard won freedoms.

"As we celebrate the fourth, it will be a mere 89 days until the October first deadline when millions of Americans are forced to purchase health insurance in a special marketplace or "exchange' overseen by the federal government.

"Health care as you know it will change. Do you know how much your new plan will cost? Do you know what it will cover? Will you be able to see your family doctor? Will your personal health information remain private? Private and safe? Will you lose the health insurance plan you like? Will the high costs force your employer to make you a part-time employee, change your plan or just drop your coverage altogether?

"Simply put, will you and your family have the health insurance you need to ensure your well-being?

"Right now, you can't answer these questions and neither can the Obama Administration.

"The Government Accounting Office found problems with the exchanges and could not ensure they would be up and running by the October first deadline. Time is running out. As one of the Democrat authors of the bill said, American families are facing "a train wreck.'

"Well, who is going to answer these questions? How will this massive federal government takeover of health care work? Even President Obama says there may be some "bumps' and "glitches.'

"Well, in California those bumps and glitches are all too real for the 50,000 patients who will lose their coverage. Aetna, a major national insurer, will no longer offer individual market plans there. Those 50,000 people are expected to turn to the exchange. Well how many more insurers will follow suit?

"Too little is known about the exchanges. The fear is that only the sick will pay to join the exchange without young healthy people to foot the bill, then all costs will further skyrocket.

"Young healthy people find the exchanges so costly and objectionable that the administration is drafting the NBA and the NFL to pitch Obamacare. Good grief!

"Already we know premiums for many Americans will rise. Some estimates have found they will double, triple or even quadruple.

"Now folks, it wasn't supposed to be this way. Before Obamacare was forced through Congress in a misguided partisan federal takeover of health care, we had a rare opportunity to create real change. We should have expanded access to care for those in need while protecting the all-important relationship between you and your doctor.

"Yet, partisan politics got in the way. President Obama signed the bill without one Republican vote.

"A year ago this week, the Supreme Court affirmed what we said all along, this law is a new tax on American citizens. Therefore, the IRS is responsible for compliance. Yes, that's the same IRS that intimidated Americans for their beliefs with unlawful scrutiny and audits and fines and then lied about it to the Congress. The American people do not trust the IRS -- not with their taxes and not with their health care.

"You remember the President's promise, that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it'? Not true for millions of Americans.

"Now Kansans understand all of this and they are fearful. Many are in the middle of life saving cancer treatments, or facing major heart surgery or a chronic health challenge like diabetes or arthritis. All those folks have doctors and treatment plans but face uncertainty about what the new law will bring.

"Now that's why I have introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate to ensure that the exchanges and the mandated tax cease to exist if the Administration is not ready October the first. We need to make the right kind of change to the health care system… change that doesn't include higher taxes, higher premiums and decision-making by government bureaucrats rather than our own doctors.

"We must put an end to the fear and uncertainty. Those "bumps' and "glitches,' the President talks about? It's a train wreck, folks, and we have to get America out of the way."

Recommended Reading:Louis Goodman & Tim Norbeck, writing in Forbes, "Why Health Care Costs Are About to Explode."

Recommended Reading:In Monday's Wall Street Journal, "Health-Insurance Costs Set for a Jolt. For the Healthy, Rates Could Soar Under New Law; Sicker Consumers to See Relief."

Student Loans Interest Rates Double Thanks to Senate Inaction

Well, it happened: the interest rate on a key federal student loan doubled Monday, as expected.

Federal law has set the rate for new subsidized Stafford loans at 6.8 percent, up from 3.4 percent. The subsidy means that these loans, for undergraduates with proven financial need, do not accrue interest while the students are in school. It is estimated that the rate hike would add about $1,000 in interest over the life of a loan for many borrowers.

The House and President Obama sought to prevent the rate hike. The House passed the Smarter Solutions for Students Act in May to tie loan rates to the government's cost of borrowing, but the Democratic-led Senate stalemated and could not pass a bill before the July 1 deadline.

Subsidized loans taken out before Monday are not affected. Nor are other federal loans to undergraduates, graduate students and parents.

More than 7 million students are projected to take out subsidized loans for the coming school year.

Recommended Reading:Monday editorial in the Wall Street Journal, "Washington's $279 Billion Fraud. Elizabeth Warren and Harry Reid fight Obama and the GOP on student loans."

Salutes: Morristown National Park, First Responders Everywhere

A belated "Welcome Home" to members of the 508th Military Police Company, New Jersey National Guard who returned in June after a 325-day deployment to Afghanistan.

Congratulations to the National Park Service as the Morristown National Historical Park celebrates its 80th Anniversary and keeps our Revolutionary War history and heritage alive!

The tragic death of 19 firefighters this week Prescott. Arizona reminds us to salute our local first responders-- fire, EMS, police officers. Every day, they run toward danger to protect our families and neighborhoods!


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