Congressman Jeff Fortenberry has hosted a forum to explain the requirements of the federal health care law, even though he opposes the law.
Fortenberry says he hears a lot about health care from constituents.
“Health care is very, very personal and the escalating cost, the new Affordable Health Care Act, the new law, was supposed to, remember, save every family about $2,000 and provide more choice. Instead, what you have is escalating cost and an infringement upon health care liberty. And people are very upset by this,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Now, the new law has helped some people, but it has hurt many others by escalating costs and reduced options.”
Fortenberry says a lot of confusion remains about the requirements of the law and the deadlines consumers must meet in obtaining health insurance.
Fortenberry says the politics of the law continue to create uncertainty among Americans.
“Because the debate was so strident and continues to be so strident, because it was a totally partisan bill, it was not bipartisan, it was not worked out through some attempt at legislative harmony; you created a much bigger philosophical divide as to the way in which we ought to proceed with the right type of health care reform,” according to Fortenberry.
The forum held at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln featured Martin Swanson, Administrator for Health Policy at the Nebraska Department of Insurance, and Michael Gray and Chris McPike with the Nebraska Association of Health Underwriters. Each made a presentation, then answered questions.
Fortenberry says Nebraskans must learn more about the law.
“We are in the middle of the season in which people are getting ready to choose a new health care plan. There is widespread confusion. There are rate increases,” Fortenberry says. “I wanted to make sure that we created a forum where people could get straight answers on the mechanics of trying to buy the best insurance available for them.”
Fortenberry says the debate on the policy will continue in Washington.