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Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Jordan: Keep promises to voters

Lawmaker calls for Obamacare repeal

By Sydney Albert

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, makes comments on Tuesday during the Midwest Ele. . .

ST. MARYS - Health care and energy were main topics discussed by U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, and state Rep. Craig Riedel, R-Defiance, at a Tuesday breakfast with about 200 Midwest Electric employees and members.
"I think members of Congress, sometimes we make our jobs too complicated," Jordan said. "Our job's pretty basic: Do what you told the voters you were gonna do when they gave you the courtesy to go serve, and one of the things we told the voters we were gonna do is, when we had the House and the Senate and the White House, was that we were gonna repeal Obamacare."
Jordan helped found the Freedom Caucus, which opposed the health care bill. The congressman has said that the proposed Republican health care bill didn't effectively repeal Obamacare or lower premiums, something many Republicans had promoted in their election platforms. Neither, he said, did it unite Republicans or the country, citing a recent Quinnipiac University poll that put approval for the bill at 17 percent.
"The process of this bill just wasn't appropriate. The bill was hidden away, holed up. Five weeks ago we were told it was a binary choice," Jordan said, adding no real hearings occurred nor did witnesses speak on the bill. "Might've been nice to have some doctors come in ... maybe some hospitals ... maybe just regular families come in and talk about how their premiums went up. ... No amendments were allowed to be offered."
The Freedom Caucus is pushing to have two Obamacare mandates terminated. The essential health benefits mandate lists 10 items and services that must be offered without cost limits on every health care plan. The "community rating" mandate prevents insurers from varying premiums within a geographic area based on age, gender, health status or other factors. Jordan has said these mandates are key causes of rising insurance premiums.
Jordan stressed nothing has been decided, but he believes centrist Republicans will agree to remove these mandates.
Jordan also said he wants the government to quit subsidizing wind power, noting that even after the Obama administration started a loan guarantee program, many renewable energy companies still went bankrupt.
Riedel said he didn't oppose renewable energy sources such as wind but believed as a capitalist that government shouldn't get involved in industry.
"It's government picking their favorite industry, giving them your tax dollars and then they all go belly up," Jordan said. "It's wind, it's solar, it's all that. Like Craig said earlier, we're for all those, but they shouldn't get a special deal. Let the market work."
"I believe in free markets. I don't believe in the government getting involved and picking winners and losers," Riedel said, noting the government can occasionally boost a project, but eventually it needs to let a company stand on its own.
"That's where we're at with wind energy. It's time to take the training wheels off."
- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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