For Young People, What You Don’t Know About Obamacare Can (and Probably Will) Hurt You
Posted by Katie M. (Legal Fellow) on August 03, 2013
In lobbying support for the Affordable Care Act, President Obama promised Americans “better value for your buck.” But paying for better value doesn’t necessarily mean paying less. For young, healthy Americans, that means paying more--a lot more.
The President continues to promise that the state exchange system will lead to lower overall premium rates. But what he doesn’t talk about is that rate predictions for many states show rates will go up dramatically after October 1 when the exchange system is set to open. This week, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced that rates in Georgia could go up by 198%!
And because of the law’s requirements that insurance companies cover every person with any health condition without raising rates, those cost increases will fall squarely on the shoulders of the 18-35 age bracket who could otherwise have access to more affordable health care options.
That’s because the ACA limits how much insurers can charge for health problems and requires those companies to offer a basic set of benefits in every single health plan sold through the new state marketplaces (called exchanges). The success of the state exchange system, and ultimately the law itself, depends on attracting young people to sign up for the exchanges to offset the costs of covering those more likely to have medical issues.
The Washington Post estimates that if 7 million people join the marketplaces this year, 2.7 million of those will need to be in the 18-35 set for the exchanges to actually work. That’s 2.7 million people who need to sign up for an exchange they don’t completely understand (because no one is explaining it to them), just to buy insurance they probably don’t need-and pay a lot more for it.
While young people are technically the cheapest group to insure, they are also the group most likely to have low incomes and work in jobs that don’t offer health benefits, which makes them the least likely to purchase health insurance.
When President Obama speaks to crowd after crowd about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, he chalks any opposition up to “politics.” But having worked in Congressman Kingston’s office for the last seven months, the opposition I see is from people, not politicians; it’s constituents that call in, day after day, asking for congress to keep their health care premiums from going up.
Maybe if President Obama answered constituent calls in a congressional office where he talked to hard-working Americans whose premiums are becoming more and more expensive–in other words, if he took my job for a day– he would understand where all this “political” opposition is coming from.
Jack works to keep Feds out of your inbox
Posted by David M. on August 03, 2013
In 1986, Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to protect the privacy of our digital communications by restricting government access to private information transmitted and stored online.
In the twenty-seven years since the Act’s passage, technology has jumped far ahead of the law. The ECPA was passed back in a time when almost no one had a personal computer, much less an e-mail account or social media presence. As a result, Americans’ online property rights are no longer adequately protected. Of particular concern is that government agencies, such as the IRS, are allowed to access private communications older than 180 days without a warrant and without demonstrating probable cause.
Jack sees such government intrusions as a grave threat to citizens’ Fourth Amendment right to security in their “persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable search and seizure.” He believes Congress needs to act swiftly to reclaim our constitutional rights form unwarranted government intrusion.
That is why he is a leading supporter of the Email Privacy Act. The bill would require a judge-issued warrant before a government agency could access communications stored by third party providers, such as Google. It would also eliminate the 180 day rule that currently allows government agencies to access e-mail communications simply because they have been left in people’s inboxes for over a certain amount of time.
Our government should be working hard to protect our constitutional rights, not snooping through our e-mails!
Jack decries executive bonuses at the Department of Education
Posted by Chris on July 12, 2013
In case you missed it, WSB-TV recently covered Jack's commitment to end big bonuses for executives at the Department of Education while local school districts struggle for funding. Our tax dollars are best spent at the local level on students, not big payouts for Washington bureaucrats!
INTERN POST: Mr. Majority Leader, don't double our rates
Posted by Nathan W. (Intern) on July 08, 2013
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was joined by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Chairman of the House Education & Workforce Committee.
Interest rates on Stafford student loans jumped from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 as the result of legislative inaction in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Republicans in the House passed a bill in May that would tie the rate on those loans to the 10-year Treasury bill, similar to the proposal outlined by the White House. But President Obama threatened to veto that measure, instead opting to make the financial welfare of hardworking college students a partisan issue.
Senate Democrats just don’t seem interested in addressing rising interest rates, even though their inaction jeopardizes the financial stability of millions of students seeking to better themselves through education. President Obama vowed to stop rates from rising, but so far he’s been all talk and no action.
College students have one thing to say to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) – Mr. Majority Leader, don’t double our rates.
Nathan W. is an intern in the Washington, D.C. Office. He is a sophomore at the University of Georgia and is a native of Forsyth County.
House adopts Jack's amendment to create work requirement for food stamps
Posted by Chris on June 20, 2013
In 1996, Congress enacted landmark welfare reform centered on a requirement that participants engage in job search and work participation activities. As a result, two-thirds of welfare recipients got a job or went to school. Within four years, 4.2 million people rose out of poverty. In five years, child poverty fell to an all-time low. Welfare caseloads fell by more than 60-percent nationwide in that time and 85 percent in Georgia.
Today the House adopted an amendment Jack cosponsored with Reps. Steve Southerland (R-TN), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), and David Schweikert (R-AZ) that would build on that success and allow states to apply work requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.
The amendment would require food stamp recipients to participate in one of 12 work activities patterned after the 1996 welfare reform including private sector employment, subsidized employment, community service, or job training. The work requirement would apply to all able-bodied, working-age adults below an age determined by the state, with the exception of those with a federally-qualified disability or those with the sole responsibility for the care of a young child. As an incentive to move participants off of food stamps and into employment, states would receive half the cost savings achieved by reducing its food stamp caseload.
Here is a video of Jack discussing his amendment and why he believes food stamps and similar programs should be a hand up and not a hand out:
Intern Post: Federick Douglass honored in Capitol ceremony
Posted by Nathan W. (Intern) on June 19, 2013
The bronze figure was unveiled by Speaker John Boehner, who called the statue “a fitting tribute to one of the greatest Americans and voices for freedom who ever lived."
Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland in 1818, and became one of the nineteenth century’s most revered civil rights advocates. Douglass escaped slavery in 1838 and relocated to Massachusetts where be built his reputation as a refined orator and staunch abolitionist. During the Civil War, Douglass advised President Lincoln to extend equal treatment for African-Americans serving in the Union Army.
Douglass worked tirelessly to achieve equal civil rights and freedoms for African Americans throughout his lifetime, including voting rights for African Americans and women. Vice President Joe Biden noted that “there is arguably no one who fought harder for citizenship and full equality than Frederick Douglass.” Douglass, who said the Republican Party offered “freedom and progress,” selflessly offered his voice for the advancement of human freedoms.
Douglass founded the North Star newspaper, where he frequently promoted freedom from slavery. He also authored the famous autobiography in African American literature, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. He became heavily involved with civic affairs when he moved to Washington, DC. He was the first African-American speaker at the Republican National Convention and the first African-American candidate on a major party roll call vote in 1888. He served as General Counsel to Haiti and as the first black U.S. Marshal.
Douglass’ effigy will be prominently featured in Emancipation Hall as the first representation on behalf of the District of Columbia and the fourth likeness of a prominent African-American, joining Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Sojourner Truth.
The statue was formally dedicated on June 19, known historically as Juneteenth, in honor of the date when Union forces arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce emancipation from slavery in 1863.
Nathan W. is a sophomore at the University of Georgia from Forsyth County.
Grassroots activists protest amnesty in immigration debate
Posted by Chris on June 19, 2013
Jack joined grassroots activists from across the country this morning in a rally against amnesty in the immigration bills moving through Congress. Jack believes we must enforce the laws we already have on the books and would vote against the "Gang of 8" proposal making its way through the Senate.
ICYMI: Jack talks NSA on WRBL
Posted by Chris on June 18, 2013
In case you missed it, Jack stopped by WRBL in Columbus to talk about recent revelations of the National Security Agency's monitoring of phone and Internet records. Jack is a strong defender of our right to privacy.
Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter visit Kingston in Washington
Posted by Chris on June 17, 2013
A delegation from Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter recently visited Jack in Washington, D.C. to discuss ongoing efforts to strengthen the overall economic value of Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield, and the surrounding communities.Pictured are, from left to right, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas,Executive Director Paul Andreshak, Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson, Pembroke Mayor Mary Warnell, Congressman Kingston, Liberty County Commission Chairman Donald Lovette, Armstrong Atlantic State University Liberty Center Director Pete Hoffman.
ICYMI: Jack appears on Fox & Friends to talk about effort to reduce VA backlog
Posted by Chris on June 05, 2013
In case you missed it, Jack appeared on Fox News' Fox & Friends this morning to talk about his effort to increase accountability at the Veterans Administration and reduce the backlog for veterans seeking assistance. Currently more than 865,000 veterans' cases are pending review and the average wait time is 292 days.
Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly approved Jack's amendment to cut the pay of senior leaders at the VA if the percentage of backlogged cases is not brought down to 40 percent or below by next July. The most recent statistics shows that 66.5 percent of cases are considered backlogged which means they have been under review for 125 days or more.