Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

August 23, 2013

Congressman Braley stops in Knoxville

(Continued)

Obamacare

As Reuters reported, 97 percent of the jobs created in America in 2013 are considered part-time. New regulations regarding employees who work over 30 hours per week are in place though the 2010 health care law may be one of the causes of this trend. Braley supported the law and continues to stand by his decision.

According to Braley, prior to the law’s passage, employers and families alike dealt with double-digit health insurance increases every year. In the past two years, since the law has begun to be implemented, those costs have been less than 4 percent. He said he has also seen benefits from requiring health insurance companies to spend 80 percent of their income on health care.

Wellmark, one of the largest health insurers in Iowa, was already spending 90 percent of its income on health care before the law. Braley believes that the problem with Wellmark and United Health Care is that these two companies insure 95 percent of Iowans. The lack of competition has made it difficult for Iowans to find alternatives. One of the goals of the health care law is to create more competition and diversity in every state, in the hopes of bringing down costs, according to Braley.

In his business, prior to his Congressional run, Braley said his health insurance costs increased by 45 percent the year before his campaign. Braley said America spends $3 trillion each year on health care, and he believes that is too much, when compared to other industrialized nations.

The rules governing the health care law are still being written. According to Braley, this is standard procedure for agencies to determine the rules after Congress passes a bill and the President signs it into law.

An amendment, filed by Iowa’s Sen. Charles Grassley, requires Congress members and their staff to purchase their health insurance through the same exchanges everyone else does. However, the Office of Personnel Management chose earlier this month to allow these highly paid Washington insiders to receive federal subsidies to help them purchase health insurance.

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