Newsletter: Missourians Visit the White House
In this edition:
Thank you for taking the time to read this update. Together, we can make a real difference for Missouri and our country as a whole.
Missourians Visit the White House
(Candace Fowler of Windsor meets with HHS Secretary Tom Price to discuss how she will lose her health insurance when Blue Cross Blue Shield exits the ACA exchange in Missouri)
I was honored to host a group of Missourians from some of our local counties who met with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price at the White House this week to share their concerns about the Affordable Care Act. These Missourians all live in counties where they will no longer have access to health insurance on the ACA exchange when Blue Cross Blue Shield leaves the market by the end of the year.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield decision to exit the Affordable Care Act exchanges will leave 77 of Missouri’s 114 counties with only a single insurer, and some 31,000 Missourians in another 25 counties with no coverage options, including Bates, Benton, Henry, Johnson, Pettis, St. Clair, and Vernon Counties in the Fourth District. This is a dire situation for these families.
Obamacare is collapsing, and Missouri families are being hit hard. It seems like every week there is a new insurer abandoning Obamacare and leaving Americans without insurance providers. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, premiums in Missouri have gone up an average of 145% over the last four years. We have to do something quickly before more Missourians lose access to coverage and premiums skyrocket even more.
It is imperative we repeal Obamacare and institute policies that will drive down costs and increase access to coverage for Missouri families. I’m so glad some Missouri Fourth District citizens got to come and share their stories. It will help the Trump Administration understand how important it is that they succeed in working with us in Congress to repeal and replace this failed law and what provisions must be included.
(Rep. Vicky Hartzler meets with Candace Fowler of Henry County and Jim Blundell of Benton County in her D.C. office. Fowler and Blundell will lose their health insurance when Blue Cross Blue Shield exits the ACA exchange by the end of the year)
Empowering Career and Technical Education
This week I voted for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act to increase opportunities for high school and community college students to get the hands-on experience they need to find a job in today’s economy. Sadly, the data shows that millions of jobs around the nation are available, but potential employees lack the skills and training to perform those jobs.
I’ve visited with our manufacturers regularly, and they have repeatedly expressed to me the need for more skilled workers. As a former vocational teacher, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible opportunities available for students who choose to invest their skills and talents in technical education.
This legislation opens up federal funding to educational institutions that support these efforts, cuts burdensome regulations on local education providers, and gets local business leaders involved in the development of career and technical education performance goals set at the state and local levels so the standards mirror the needs of real businesses. The bill also increases from 10 to 15 percent the amount of federal funds states can set aside to assist eligible students in rural areas or areas with a significant number of CTE students.
Growing Our Economy
Economic growth is a top priority of mine, so I was honored to receive the Manufacturing Legislative Excellence Award from National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons for my voting record in support of U.S. manufacturing. It is an honor to receive this award and to fight for policies to grow our economy with good-paying jobs. Thank you!
(Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler receives award from NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons)
Have a great week!
Yours in service,
Member of Congress