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Gosar rips Affordable Care Act during Kingman meeting


U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar talks to business leaders gathered at Kingman Regional Medical Center Friday morning.
JC AMBERLYN/Miner

Obamacare 'a bunch of taxes' Gosar says

KINGMAN - U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar told Kingman business leaders that he and several other Republicans in Congress are doing what they can to slowly pick apart the Affordable Care Act Friday.

"This is a bunch of taxes," Gosar said, as his District Director Penny Pew explained how the law would affect local businesses and residents.

Several pieces of the federal law are supposed to roll out in the next few months that he doesn't agree with, Gosar said. They include taxes on medical devices, investment income and high-income earners, limits on medical savings accounts and fees on health insurance providers, he said.

One of the more grievous changes is how the federal government calculates how many full-time employees a company has to cover, Gosar said.

"It's all done by hours," he said.

The ACA requires employers to provide health coverage if they had more than 50 full-time equivalent employees in the last year, he said. Full-time workers are defined as employees who work more than 30 hours a week. However, in order to calculate how many full-time equivalent employees a business has the government divides the number of hours part-time employees work in a month by 120.

So a company that has 35 full-time employees and 30 part-time employees that work 25 hours a week actually has 60 full-time equivalent employees, according to the ACA, Gosar said.

"We've been able to repeal most of the more egregious taxes (connected with the law) and are working on others. It looks as if the tax on medical devices may go down. We've also managed to pull $1 billion from Health and Human Services budget," said Jeremy Harrell, Gosar's legislative director. "We're not giving them the funds they need and we're going to continue to chip away at it. It's going to get to a point where the law will collapse."

"There are some people out there who say 'The House (of Representatives) has the purse strings, just cut the funding for it. But it's not that easy," Gosar said. The House has to have an agreement with the Senate in order to get a bill through and either the confidence that the president won't veto the bill or the numbers to override a veto, he said.

The country needs a competitive marketplace where people can buy insurance, Gosar said.

Lawmakers need to rein in spending on public health care and address tort reform. States should be left to decide what will work best for them, while insurance companies should be allowed to compete for individual patients.

"We have to have the fortitude to talk about it. The system is broken. There is no personal accountability," Gosar said.

He introduced a bill this session, HR 911, that would do a lot of this. It would break up insurance monopolies and allow for more choice in health insurance.

Gosar also spoke of his plans to streamline the permitting process for mining and renewable energy development on federal lands, the need to reform the federal tax code, how the White House was using the sequestration cuts to push its own agenda and how unlikely it is that the country will see a reform of its immigration system.



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