View From the Capitol - Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's Newsletter for the Week of December 23-27, 2013

Good Day,

As the Christmas season winds down and Missourians get ready to welcome 2014, the reality of the President’s health care law is beginning to hit home for so many of us who have been forced to give up the health plans we liked and wanted to keep. Many of the new health plans we have had to enroll in are more expensive than the plans we had to abandon and require us to pay for coverage we don’t need and certainly don’t want.

Of course, there’s a chance many of us who thought we had enrolled in various health care plans are not actually enrolled, after all. Many Americans who signed up through the government exchanges have been incorrectly informed they enrolled in plans. If you’re in this category you might be in for a big shock early in the new year when you learn that while you were informed you had enrolled, the insurance company you thought you had signed up with might know nothing about you. Bottom line – you might not have coverage!

We have recently learned that many of the navigators who are supposed to be guiding consumers wanting to enroll in plans have made a series of mistakes. These mistakes include giving enrollees incorrect information and failing to properly secure enrollees’ personal health information, Social Security numbers, and annual incomes. We have also been told that some of these navigators have encouraged consumers to commit tax fraud by underreporting income in order to qualify for ObamaCare’s health insurance subsidies.

This is yet another example of an unworkable law that should never have been launched before it was ready. As we begin the new year, I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to end this disastrous law and to replace it with health care options that offer all Americans access to quality, affordable health coverage they want.

On another matter, I am pleased to share that even though Congress was not in session, negotiators from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees were at work hammering out the final details of what I hope will be a comprehensive five-year Farm Bill. There are still differences between the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill, but the principle negotiators are making significant progress and the conferees plan to vote the first full week back in January. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I am committed to serving the interests of both consumers and farmers – approving a Farm Bill that provides the United States with a safe, plentiful, and affordable supply of food for many years to come. I hope to be able to share some good news with early in the new year

From my family to yours, have a blessed and prosperous New Year!

Vicky