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Gainesville to host health care committee hearing

POSTED: November 21, 2013 12:03 a.m.

Area residents still seeking to understand how the new federal health care law affects them are invited to a Monday hearing on the troubled rollout.

The U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to hold a field meeting at 10 a.m. at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville to learn the impact of the Affordable Care Act on rural areas.

It’s one in a series of field hearings the committee plans to hold starting Friday. The first meeting is set for Gastonia, N.C., where the committee will look at increased premiums for health insurance.

Hearings set after Gainesville are expected in Arizona and Texas.

Subjects include the role of navigators, who are trained to help people look at the new health insurance options, and the concern that some insurance companies are canceling current policies, forcing Americans to find other coverage.

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., is a member of the committee and said he’s glad to welcome members of Congress to his district.

“I’ve been taking the concerns of the people of (the) 9th District to Washington all year, and this is a chance for Washington to come to them and see firsthand what’s happening to rural healthcare because of Obamacare,” Collins said in an emailed statement.

Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the hearings will examine a variety of issues, including the cost for health care coverage and the lack of choice for Americans.

“While President (Barack Obama has) repeatedly said that Americans could keep their insurance under ObamaCare, even he has had to admit that just isn’t so,” Issa said in a news release. “By holding these field hearings, the committee will hear firsthand the stories about the initial impact of broken promises.”

The committee is trying to determine how the law is affecting people in areas where costs are rising and choices are limited, the news release stated., the federal insurance exchange, also called a marketplace, has struggled with technical difficulties, and the Obama administration has reported a lower number of people signing up for coverage than originally expected.


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