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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Obamacare and GOP Constituent Service

Elise Viebeck reports at The Hill:
Republican lawmakers say they anticipate a flood of questions in the coming months from constituents on the implementation of ObamaCare, which will pose a dilemma for the GOP.

People regularly call their representatives for help with Medicare, Social Security and other government programs. Yet, Republicans believe healthcare reform spells doom for the federal budget, private businesses and the U.S. healthcare system. They're also enormously frustrated that the law has persevered through two elections and a Supreme Court challenge and believe a botched implementation could help build momentum for the repeal movement.
Some Republicans indicated to The Hill they will not assist constituents in navigating the law and obtaining benefits. Others said they would tell people to call the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
"Given that we come from Kansas, it's much easier to say, 'Call your former governor,'" said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R), referring to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
There are some Republicans who plan to answer constituents' questions, however.
Rep. Phil Gingrey (Ga.), co-chairman of the GOP Doctors Caucus, said he will "always" help people who have questions about the federal government.
"If a constituent wants to know something, I'm going to be truthful to then, even if I absolutely hate the program," said Gingrey, who is running for the Senate.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), who ran for Congress in part because of his opposition to ObamaCare, is planning to hold town hall meetings on the law for individuals and small businesses.
"We're going to play them absolutely straight," he said. "We're going to invite some experts, and they're going to explain what is going to help and what is going to hurt."