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It was a gamble for the President to promise Americans "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan".
Today, millions of Americans are losing their coverage as a result of the mandates now being imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), despite promises made by the President and his administration that this would not be the case. In addition to millions of people who have lost their insurance coverage, the President promised premiums would go down, telling Americans that families would save an average of $2,500. Instead, folks are being met by rate shock, with some premiums increasing by as much as 400 percent. We were promised we could keep our policies, coverage and doctors, yet these choices are now being denied.
In the 5th Congressional District, I’ve heard from hundreds of constituents who have received notices that their current policies have become more expensive or, worse, are now cancelled. I’ve also heard from countless small businesses that can no longer afford to offer insurance coverage to their employees or, alternatively, have cut back on the number of hours their employees are allowed to work – all due to the law’s burdensome and costly requirements. Over the past several weeks, I have made sure these stories are represented and heard loud-and-clear in Washington (click here).
More than half of the ACA’s deadlines have been missed or delayed, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, and the Obama Administration has changed the law 19 times since it was passed in 2010, through a variety of unilateral executive actions. Despite these actions, the President has offered little assurance that he can save the plans that he promised would not be cancelled and his administration appears incapable of correcting the law’s mounting number of flaws.
We have a responsibility to prevent even more economic harm from being imposed upon hard working Americans. For this reason, on November 15, I voted to support H.R. 3350, the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013, which allows health plans currently available on the individual market to continue next year, providing Americans the opportunity to continue to enroll in those plans without the ACA’s individual mandate penalty. Similar proposals have been put forward in the Senate, which are drawing support from a growing number of Democrats.
The lackluster roll out and website crashes may be corrected over time. Unfortunately, the insurance cancellations and cost increases are going to continue regardless of an executive order or another “promise” from the White House. Ultimately, we must repeal this overreaching, ill-conceived law and replace it with a set of reforms that actually lower health care costs and expand access.
As always, it is a distinct honor to represent you in Washington. With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah upon us, I want to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday celebration!
Protecting Our Privacy Rights and Ending the Dragnet Collection of Americans’ Private Information: There is a just and legal way to go about preventing terrorism, without violating our individual privacies. Congress must use its powers to provide oversight of the National Security Agency (NSA) and all surveillance activities. On November 8th I joined in support of H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill to restore Americans’ privacy rights by ending the government’s dragnet collection of phone records and requiring greater oversight, transparency, and accountability under NSA’s surveillance programs. This bill is aimed at reworking the PATRIOT Act, to stop NSA’s mass data collection and ensure that the constitutional rights of Americans are protected. Congress did not intend for any law to authorize the indiscriminate collection of personal information of Americans. As a member of the bipartisan House Privacy Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to advance these commonsense improvements and vital protections to our civil liberties. Click here to learn more.
Discussing Pathways to Educational and Career Success with Forest County High School Students: This past week, I had the opportunity to meet with Forest County High School students during visits to East Forest High School, in Marienville, Pa., and West Forest High School, in Tionesta, Pa. It was a great opportunity to hear what is on the minds of our students and discuss issues of interest from Washington, D.C. and across the 5th District. I also discussed my own career path and how my passion to serve others guided my educational and career decisions. Prior to serving in Congress, I spent 28 years in a non-profit health care setting as a therapist, rehabilitation services manager and a licensed Nursing Home Administrator. It was helping individuals with life-changing disease and disability find health and dignity that led me into the field of health care and ultimately on to run for Congress. “The discussion was informative,” stated School District Superintendent Amanda Hetrick, “and helped our students see that Congressman Thompson is a leader who is accessible and interested in the opinions of his constituents in helping to shape the policies of our nation.” Click here to view more from the event.
Picture: Thompson with West Forest County High School students. Click here to view more photos.
Recognizing National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month: On November 4th I joined with U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA) in introducing a resolution to recognize November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. This resolution is a mark of appreciation for the amazing work being done through medical research, education, and awareness to improve the lives of millions of Americans coping with this debilitating disease, but also recognition of how much work must still be done. Through continued public advocacy, research, and the dedicated work of the scientific community, we can and will find a cure. During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we rededicate ourselves to this critically important mission. Click here to learn more.
Energy Action in the House: It’s time for us to get serious about ending our reliance on foreign sources of energy, which begins by developing more energy here at home.
The House last week acted on three separate bills that will expand domestic energy production, facilitate and improve energy transport, and ultimately increase energy affordability for consumers and American families across the country.
Click here to learn more about all three bills.
Oil City Derrick: Franklin’s Holden honored by Rep. Thompson during U.S. House session: “U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson took a moment Wednesday to address the U.S. House and pay homage to former Franklin resident Jim Holden, an outdoor enthusiast and co-founder of the Allegheny Valley Trails Association who died Nov. 9 at the age of 73. Thompson praised Holden for recognizing that the region’s “recreational resources could be better utilized to benefit the community and its economy,” and for dedicating his life to making that “vision a reality.” Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim Holden and his family,” Thompson concluded. “He surely did leave big boots to fill, but also an enduring legacy for us to cherish.” (Oil City Derrick, November 22, 2013)
Centre Daily Times: Thompson Special Needs Fairness Bill gets more senate support: "U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, gained more support for a bill he’s been involved with since last year, when four other lawmakers introduced the same bill Thursday in the Senate to help those living with disabilities have more control over their futures. The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act would allow people to independently create their own special needs trust accounts. Current law prevents disabled individuals from independently creating a special needs trust, instead forcing them to have a guardian or court create the trust, even though they might have the mental capacity to do it themselves. Special needs trusts allow those living with disabilities to have their assets held in a trust to supplement daily living expenses and care..." (Centre Daily Times, November 9, 2013)
What’s really been going on behind the scenes of the Affordable Care Act (click here)
A Punxsutawney Constituent's Story of Cancelled Health Care Insurance Plan (click here)
Statement During First Public Meeting for 2013 Farm Bill Conference Committee (click here)
Bipartisan Coalition Introducing Bill to Delay Flood Insurance Rate Hike (click here)