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3/24/2013 6:00:00 AM
Gosar rips Affordable Care Act during Kingman meeting
Obamacare 'a bunch of taxes' Gosar says
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar talks to business leaders gathered at Kingman Regional Medical Center Friday morning.JC AMBERLYN/Miner
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar talks to business leaders gathered at Kingman Regional Medical Center Friday morning.

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

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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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: Hey, What Are They Doing With Our Loopholes?

How many full time employees a couple needs is figured by hours - brilliant. I suppose all those business leaders (most won’t be affected since they don’t have 50 employees) had thought, ahh, I can just hire 2 part-timers instead of that full-timer that now requires insurance. So what if 40 hours means I need a full time person – I’ll just give 2 smoes 20 hours – there. So they figured a way to eliminate that loophole. Darn loopholes are what makes business run. Don’t they?

Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Article comment by: Call 911 on 911

Must be all those years in state politics. Because Gosar isn't that bright. Red meat for the red party loyals. What better way to secure those Obama-hating votes. Where's Gosar's plan for finding jobs in the Kingman area? Where's that specific job legislature that he is working on (finding co-sponors, etc.). Or perhaps he found one of his fellow congressman's bill that has promise to making life better here in Kingman. Was he even asked about this by these "leaders" of our community? Isn't that the only thing Americans want now?

So his actions on this issue is to break up large insurance companies. And he thinks by having 1 million insured with DoDa Insurance Company and 2 million insured with another company and so on is going to solve the problem. Yea, I see, 300 million Americans insured by 2,000 small companies are better off than being insured by 10-20 large insurance companies. Has he heard about spread out the risk?

And he wants status quo - isn't that much of the problem we find ourselves in. The private insurance companies have run the show and what has been the result? High premium rates, higher and higher deductions and co-pays, and oh yea, those "your policy doesn't provide that service, your doctor isn't in our plan, you have to first see your PCP, yes, I know it was an emergency but your policy requires that you first receive approval - too bad, so sad. Bill 911 needs a 911 call.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: TORT Reform Trickery

How sickening to hear our politicians complain about how our terrible it is to encourage employers to provide health care coverage for employees who work for us. Gosar is among the elite who probably look for any way OUT of providing a healthy workplace for their cheap labor employees!

And does TORT reform really help reduce medical costs? Well, obviously NOT!

All of the following states have enacted various forms of medical TORT reform (such as limiting wrongful dead law suits to a MAX of $250,000 liability as they did in Indiana 10 years ago) .

New Mexico
North Dakota
South Dakota
West Virginia

So now that hospitals won't have to pay more than $250,000 even when they are negligent, where is the savings for the users??

There isn't any.
TORT reform is just another word for "Making sure doctors and hospitals never have to be held accountable when their mistakes KILL someone".

But all the fools will think it's meant to bring down medical costs...What a laugh!

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“joker wilde - when you want to talk vacations, please start with obama.”

No, let’s start with The Criminal and his 1,020 days during his eight year Reign of Error – the most of any president in our history.

“Well, the entire bill is a lie and cheating - just like that.”

And you read the “entire” bill when? That’s what I thought. But please, go ahead and tell us all about the “cheating” that’s included in the ACA.

“We will lose the best healthcare in the world…”

As usual incorrect information. The U.S. ranks 37th in the world for access to and quality of healthcare.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

Linda, please give up your Medicare, and let the market rule your health care, after all you would not want that socialist Medicare. I sure all those pooR downtrodden doctors will move to Mexico, Canada or Switzerland, where they can maximize their lowly incomes.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

God Bless Representative Gosar, on the right track on all of these items. It is obvious he knows what he is doing and hit the ground running. He will have my daily prayers.

joker wilde - when you want to talk vacations, please start with obama.

Perkins - Let the market rule? Uh, that has worked for a couple of hundred years before we decided the government knew better what we need than individual Americans. And we sure as hell don't need obamacare. You obviously have not studied the obama lies in it and the horrible cost, loss of Dr's, etc that will take place.

Fox Hound - You too need to really study obamacare because it is and will bury us. Notice the cheating way they do employee's hours above or did you read that far? Well, the entire bill is a lie and cheating - just like that.

We will lose the best healthcare in the world along with the best Dr's in the world. Already, 60% have declared they will retire sooner rather than later due to obamacare. Supposedly 30 million new people on the plan and less Dr's to take care of them? You do the math.

Many will not buy insurance due to the cost that was supposed to be free and will just pay the fine. Many businesses will be forced to close or at least lay off employees giving less good service in their businesses. It's a lose, lose anyway you cut it.

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Gosar, a Teabagger, comes to town, spews the party line and no-information voters nod their heads not realizing they are - as usual - going against their own best interests. And of course many of them are on Medicare demonstrating the hypocracy of "I'm got mine, too bad for the rest of you." Pathetic.

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: France's Perkins

Lets see, Gosar, doctor, Republican, against health care reform, even though most of it is really Romneycare. No alternative but let the market rule and the ER's implode. Lets see, Ward, doctor, Republican, against health care reform, even though it is really Romneycare. No alternative but let the market rule and ERs implode. A pattern is developing here.

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: joker wilde

Gosar and his colleagues just left for another two weeks vacation. Congress' version of spring break. Shoot, they just returned from vacation. The deficit could be reduced by quite a bit by making politicians actually work a full schedule. I read somewhere that the Congress puts in a whopping 6 months on the job. Add that to the high salaries, franking privileges, taxpayer-funded health insurance, etc., etc. and it's a real slap in the face for American workers.

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

Gee I agree with Mr Gosar about one thing the system is broken. I'm afraid that is all I agree with. He like most Republicans in the congress and the senate are doing everything they can to shut the govt. down rather than trying to work with the other sided about reasonable changes to healthcare. Healthcare insurance has risen by 575 percent just since 1980 surpassing even the cost of housing which we all know now was a hyper inflated market created by fraud and deception. Housing prices only went up by 325 percent during the same period. So its not like everything was just great out there for the consumer before the Obama healthcare law went into effect. The largest reason for people going broke before ACA was medical bankruptcy. What was the Republican solution for this very real problem? The Presidents plan is more similiar to the Republicans plans than it is different yet because the President choose to incorporate many Republican ideas in his plan to try and bring a compromise suddenly their own plan is now not acceptable. I would like to know what Rep. Gosar's plan is to address the healthcare problems we face in the country rather than what he doesn't like about Obamacare. I think it is clear who he really represents on this issue and its not the people of Arizona. It's their bosses and the wealthest among us. But I guess that shouldn't be a surprise. One of the tactics that the business community has been doing for the last ten years is limiting workers to 30 hours a week so they don't have to pay benifiets. So in the hardest hit economy in recent history there answer is to make it even harder for workers. And then they wonder why they can't win national elections.

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