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Gibbs: Congress needs to take up health care issue again

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    U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, second left, takes a tour of Linden's Propane in Brighton Township on Aug 23 with, from left, Account Manager Mark Nickels, Operations Manager Sid Wise and General Manager Frank Edwards, Jr.

    STEVE MANHEIM / GAZETTE

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    U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, right, takes a tour of Linden's Propane in Brighton Township with General Manager Frank Edwards Jr. on Aug 23.

    STEVE MANHEIM / GAZETTE

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    Linden's Propane in Brighton Township on Aug 23.

    STEVE MANHEIM / GAZETTE

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BRIGHTON TWP. — U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, feels the health care debate has hit a crisis level, and Congress needs to bring the issue back to the table.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gibbs visited Linden’s Propane to tour its facility and talk with the employees about their concerns.

“It’s always good to come out and see businesses, especially small businesses like this,” Gibbs said. “We were able to talk about some of the challenges with health care, and they wanted to show us what they’re doing here. They’re doing a great job and have a great facility.”

Congress is on its August recess, which ends Sept. 5. When Congress resumes, Gibbs believes there are a number of issues that need to be addressed.

“September is going to be busy,” he said. “We’ve got the debt ceiling, funding the government and the FAA bill, so air traffic controllers get paid. There’s a lot of things like that. We’re also working on tax reform, and I hope the health care comes back.”

Gibbs said he’s frustrated with the Senate for not passing the health care bill it voted on in May. He said it “dropped the ball,” and he would have like to have gone to conference and kept working on it.

“I think the individual market and small-group market are collapsing,” Gibbs said. “Premiums are going through the roof in those markets, and people can’t afford it. It’s got to come back. It’s becoming a crisis.”

Gibbs said three counties in his 7th Congressional District — Holmes, Coshocton and Knox counties — were listed as not having an option on the health care marketplace next year under the Affordable Care Act.

“One business said their renewal was coming up, and if they kept the same plan they’re on, it’s going up 69 percent,” he said. “They can’t afford that. They’re looking at other plans, with higher deductibles, but they best they could find is a 45-percent increase.”

Gibbs said he believes Republicans and Democrats can come together to reform health care. He said some Democrats are becoming concerned because they felt they could pin the problem on Republicans, but they’re getting concerned that the people will blame both parties.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.



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