Speaker John Boehner (OH-08) and Representatives Steve Chabot (OH-01), Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Bob Latta (OH-05), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Mike Turner (OH-10), Pat Tiberi (OH-12), Dave Joyce (OH-14), Steve Stivers (OH-15), and Jim Renacci (OH-16) today released the following statement reacting to their constituents’ experiences with open enrollment and the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) downgrade of projected enrollees. The delegation is encouraging constituents to continue the conversation by using the “hashtags” #ObamaCare #StoriesFromOhio on social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook.
“All across Ohio, the harmful effects of the president’s health care law continue to be widespread. Premiums and deductibles are rising, plans are being cancelled, people are losing access to their doctors, and small businesses have been forced to reduce employee hours in order to comply with the law’s mandates – turning full-time work into part-time work for too many.
“The president’s Department of Health and Human Services recently reduced its estimate for projected enrollees, acknowledging the same lack of confidence Ohioans have expressed in the product it’s selling.
“We've heard from a great many of our constituents who have shared their stories, and that is why we will continue to fight to repeal and replace this broken system with real health care solutions that will lead to lower costs and more choices.”
Following are testimonials from Ohioans throughout the state:
"We have a ten-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. We are already feeling the effects of Obamacare, with our current insurance company limiting therapy visits…and informing us that her current drugs may not be covered starting in January. I believe health care reform is needed. However, government-controlled health care is not the answer. Health care needs to be patient-and-doctor centered, with competition allowed across state lines for insurance companies.”
–Carol, Mason, OH
“Our premiums are jumping by 18 percent for 2015 and because of Obamacare; we will lose our plan in 2016. We are a healthy family of three, and have had no significant claims. I worry that next year, my family and I will be facing even higher deductibles, out of pocket costs, and premiums for a plan that doesn’t meet our needs.”
–Mike, Cincinnati, OH
“My company had insurance that our employees liked, but costs rose rapidly when Washington started discussing the Affordable Care Act. After Obamacare was passed I hoped that the prices would stabilize, but unfortunately we are still facing huge increases this year. We now have insurance through a new company that got its start with Obamacare but we are very unhappy. Our new plan has altered our prescription coverage so that some employees must pay hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket for prescriptions that were previously covered with reasonable co-pays. Everyone should be able to sit down with their own doctor and decide what treatment is best.”
– Dan, Business owner in Ohio’s 4th District
"I am very disappointed with the Affordable Care Act. I just had to change my insurance policy through work because my premium would have gone up by $1300/year. I liked my policy. I wanted to keep my policy. I was told that I could keep it if I liked it. But it was not supposed to go up in cost. The ACA was supposed to save us $2500 not increase costs by $1300.”
- Resident of Ohio’s 5th District, Perrysburg, OH
“Our medical insurance premium costs went from $235 per month to $520 per month…President Obama promised that people would not have to choose between quality medical care and the basic essentials of life… I think that this system and the president have greatly failed me and many Americans in what was promised. I go to bed at night wondering how I am going to pay the increase in the medical insurance premiums as well as the increases in the out of pocket medical expenses we now face.”
– Alice, Dennison, OH
"Since I was a sophomore I had been working two jobs at Miami University to help pay for my education. When I received a letter over the summer saying that I would no longer be able to work more than thirty hours a week because of a new ObamaCare requirement, I was forced to give up one of my jobs. This is happening to students all over the country due to the reckless requirements written into the President's health care law. At a time when education is so expensive in the United States, these work hour requirements are hurting hardworking students."
-Carolyn Turner, Daughter of Congressman Mike Turner, Dayton, OH
“My insurance has increased over $100 a month. My daughter is not covered because I cannot afford it, plus Medicaid has not gotten back to me about her (she has a disability). My deductible is $2500, which I have to pay before anything is covered! I cannot even afford to go to doctor and my employer said it is because of ObamaCare. There are no extras, just basic coverage. I hope nothing major happens to me and my family!”
– Sherrie, Hartville, OH
"I found out today our premium is going up again this year another 35 percent. We also have a $7,000 dollar deductible... It really angers me. We pay our taxes, we pay our bills. We try to do the right thing … As things stand right now, with increasing cost of living, [stagnant] wages, and increasing health care costs, I don't know how we are going to remain financially solvent and also have any kind of quality of life. For a health care law that was intended to help people, it sure seems that the ones who are being hurt are those who have worked hard to make a living for themselves.”
-Jamey, Piqua, OH
"My premiums rose 25 percent this year and will rise 25 percent again next year. It’s not just my premiums that are increasing; my out-pocket-expenses went from copays to a 20 percent cost-share, as well. Obamacare certainly hasn’t made healthcare more affordable for me.”
– Nancy, Central Ohio
“I had the same health insurance plan since 2007, one that was affordable and the right plan for me. Six months ago, I got a letter from my insurance company telling me that because of ObamaCare, they were no longer offering the plan I had been on for seven years. After struggling to find a new plan, my new monthly premium is now doubled from $425 to over $900."
– Jeff, Hudson, OH
“My name is Mildred and I retired as a teacher's aide. I now live in my daughter's home. As a retiree from the Ohio School system, I used to have a good health care plan which has covered a heart surgery in addition to other health needs. When ObamaCare started I received a notice that my premium would increase from $66.00 to $299.00 per month. That new amount was way more than my meager pension. I had no choice but to cancel my policy. My doctors tell me that I will eventually need another heart operation. I don't know what I will do.”
– Mildred, Columbus, OH
“I own a small business and employ close to 1,000 people, of which 700 should be eligible for insurance. If 75 percent of those eligible participate, I will be put out of business within 3-6 months. Though I am planning to hire and expand, the 30-hour definition of full-time employment within Obamacare threatens our very existence. I urge Congress to apply the traditional 40-hour definition of full-time employment to the health care law in order to provide me with the certainty I need to grow my company and create jobs.”
– Jim, North Canton, OH
Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee, today released the following statement applauding the U.S. Senate’s passage of H.R. 5705, the Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act, bipartisan legislation he sponsored with Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) to address some of the winter heating challenges experienced in Ohio and throughout the Midwest last year. The legislation is headed to the President’s desk for his signature.
“During the winter months, heat is a matter of survival not a matter of convenience,” said Latta. “Last year, we were faced with propane shortages that threatened the lives and livelihoods of many living in Ohio and throughout the Midwest. The Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act addresses some of the challenges experienced last winter in an effort to avoid another disaster. I applaud the Senate for taking swift action on this legislation and encourage the President to expeditiously sign it into law.”
The Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act of 2014 clarifies Congress’ intent in the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), requiring the Department of Commerce to use proper data to calculate consumer prices. It would also allow the Propane Education and Research Council to improve training for distributors and consumers to help mitigate the negative effects of propane prices spikes.
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Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), Vice-Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, today released the following statement regarding the President’s signature of H.R. 5728, the STELA Reauthorization (STELAR) Act, into law. This bipartisan legislation ensures 1.5 million satellite television subscribers continue to receive broadcast programming. It also includes a bipartisan, pro-consumer provision, similar to the one Latta and Congressman Gene Green (D-TX) introduced in the House, to eliminate the integration ban.
“Congress came together in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to get this must-pass legislation signed into law,” said Latta. “Working together, we were able to ensure 1.5 million satellite television subscribers can continue to receive their broadcast programming uninterrupted, while also implementing a number of pro-consumer provisions that will foster greater investment and innovation. In addition, by repealing the integration ban – an outdated technological mandate – we are underscoring our commitment to modernizing our communications laws to maximize America’s full potential.”
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Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today issued the following statement after President Obama’s announcement that he will unilaterally act on immigration:
“The American people sent a clear message to Washington earlier this month,” said Latta. “The United States is a republic, not a monarchy, and they want us to work together to promote real solutions to the issues our country faces – issues that include our nation’s border security and the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants who live here.
“The President’s decision to take unilateral action demonstrates a blatant disregard for the will of the American people and the separation of powers explicitly outlined in our Constitution. It exceeds his executive authority, and I, along with my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, will fight this gross executive overreach.
“As a Member of Congress, I was elected to represent the citizens of Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District – hardworking Americans that I have the privilege to listen to and interact with every day. The President’s plan does not address their concerns and will not sufficiently secure our border. I am committed to working in a bipartisan, bicameral manner and believe this is the best way we can develop long-term solutions to the issues our nation faces. It is time for the President to stop acting unilaterally and start listening to the American people. We need substantive solutions, not quick fixes.”
Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), Vice Chairman of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, today released the following statement applauding the U.S. Senate’s passage of H.R. 5728, the STELA Reauthorization Act.
“I am pleased to see the bipartisan and bicameral effort that took place to bring forth this must-pass legislation,” said Latta. “While ensuring broadcast programming for more than 1.5 million satellite television subscribers, STELAR also underscores our commitment to ensuring that our communications laws maximize the potential for investment, innovation and consumer choice.
“I am especially pleased that this bill incorporated a bipartisan and pro-consumer provision to eliminate the current set-top box integration ban, similar to legislation I sponsored in the U.S. House with Congressman Gene Green. Repealing this outdated technological mandate will foster greater investment and innovation in the set-top box market.
“STELAR’s passage in the U.S. Senate demonstrates how our two chambers can work together to pass meaningful policies. I urge the President to swiftly sign this bill into law, so these critical measures can take effect.”
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Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) today introduced legislation to help protect drinking water from harmful algae blooms known as cyanotoxins. Latta authored the legislation in response to Toledo, Ohio’s August water emergency caused by the increased presence of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. H.R. 5753, the Drinking Water Protection Act, requires the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and submit a strategic plan to Congress for assessing and managing the risk associated with cyanotoxins in drinking water.
“My legislation will ensure a robust approach when addressing the health of our drinking water,” said Latta. “In addition, by requiring the EPA to develop a strategic plan that outlines how it will assess and manage the risks associated with cyanotoxins in our water, the bill will foster close, ongoing coordination between all agencies involved and set timelines to ensure the health of our drinking water is addressed in a timely manner. I would like to thank Chairman Upton and Chairman Shimkus for bringing Congressional attention to this issue and look forward to working with them on this important issue.”
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) gave his support to the legislation, stating, “This is an important issue facing millions of Americans that live in the communities surrounding our Great Lakes. The water supply scare in Ohio this summer brought this issue to the forefront, and I thank Representative Latta for his leadership in responding to this critical threat and working toward a solution that helps keep our drinking water and our families safe.”
The Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), held a hearing Wednesday to examine cyanotoxins in drinking water and solutions to address the problem. During the hearing, Rep. Latta stressed the need for federal, state, and local officials to work together to better understand this threat to human health and the environment and find ways to increase protections. Watch Latta’s questioning with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Craig Butler regarding the need for EPA to provide research and guidance to states:
Latta’s bill directs the EPA to formulate a plan, including the necessary steps and timelines to fully evaluate the risk of cyanotoxins, publish a comprehensive list of potentially harmful cyanotoxins, and provide additional guidance and technical assistance to states to help mitigate risks to drinking water systems. To view a copy of the bill, click HERE.
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Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, today participated in a hearing examining the toxins in drinking water caused by harmful algal blooms. This hearing was a continuation of Congressman Latta’s efforts to address the algal blooms issues in the Great Lakes following Toledo’s August water advisory, which left 500,000 people without drinkable water.
“Our drinking water is one of our most valuable resources, and we must look at the entire picture when determining how to ensure the health of our Great Lakes and surface waters,” said Latta. “Today’s hearing to examine the effects of harmful algal blooms in our drinking water is an important step in bringing Congressional attention to this matter, and I look forward to continuing to work with all parties involved to solve this problem and protect human health.”
At the hearing, members heard testimony from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Director, Dr. Peter Grevatt, Ohio EPA Director, Craig Butler, John Donahue from American Water Works Association and Lynn Thorp from Clean Water Action.
The discussion provided insight about the various sources that lead to algal bloom growth. It also shed light on the obstacles to addressing algal blooms in our drinking water, including the need to gain a better understanding of the various types of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins, as well as safe human threshold levels. The limitations on current testing, including costs and a need for qualified technicians, was also stressed.
In addition, the U.S. EPA indicated that it is currently conducting an independent, external peer review of the draft health advisory for microcystins and Cylindrospermopsin. The health advisory is expected to be released in Spring 2015, a timeline that will ensure it reflects the best available science and data to ensure public health is protected.
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Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, will participate in a hearing focused on cyanotoxins in drinking water on Wednesday, November 19, at 10:15 a.m. in Washington, D.C. Latta has worked closely with the Subcommittee’s Chairman, Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), to ensure a hearing on this important issue.
Given the water emergency that occurred in Toledo in August, this week’s hearing will explore the current circumstances surrounding algae and cyanotoxins, as well as the availability of technology to test and monitor for these potentially harmful contaminants. The Committee sent a letter last month to the Environmental Protection Agency seeking additional information about this threat to drinking water supplies and the agency’s plans to address it.
Witnesses at the hearing, entitled “Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water,” will include Director of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water at the U.S. EPA, Peter Grevatt, Director of the Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, and John Donahue testifying on behalf of the American Water Works Association.
The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, witness testimony and a live feed of the hearing will be available here as they are posted.
This hearing is a continuation of Congressman Latta’s efforts to address the algal blooms issues in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie. In September, he introduced H.R. 5516, the Protecting Our Great Lakes Act, to prevent the discharge of dredged material in the open waters of the Great Lakes. He also met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss long-term substantive solutions that can be implemented to ensure our drinking water is safe. In addition, he introduced H.R. 5456, the Great Lakes & Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act, bipartisan legislation to examine the causes and current mitigation efforts of algal blooms in the Great Lakes, their tributaries and surface fresh waters. Finally, he also introduced H.R. 3862, the Clean Water Affordability Act, in January to assist municipalities in more affordably managing their wastewater infrastructure projects. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee also held a hearing to discuss this legislation in July.
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Congressman Robert “Bob” Latta (R- Bowling Green) is currently serving his fourth term in the United States House of Representatives following his re-election in 2012. Congressman Latta serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has wide jurisdiction on legislative matters, including energy policy, telecommunications, food and drug safety, public health research, and interstate and foreign commerce. He is a member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, where he was selected to serve as Vice Chair, as well as a member of the Subcommittees on Energy and Power, and Environment and the Economy. In addition, Congressman Latta serves as an Assistant Majority Whip, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Sportsman Caucus, and the Co-Chair of the Republican New Media Caucus.
Congressman Latta previously served as a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Before his election to Congress, Latta was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives (2001-2007), Ohio Senate (1997-2000), and Wood County Commissioner (1991-1996).
Since his arrival to Congress, Congressman Latta has advocated for the interests of the people of northwest and west central Ohio and economic prosperity for the country. His top priorities have included balancing the budget, reducing the national debt, and working towards commonsense government reforms. Congressman Latta’s legislative accomplishments include:
· H.R. 270, the TRICARE Continuity Coverage for National Guard and Reserve Families Act, which allows “gray area” retirees access to TRICARE, and was amended into the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), becoming law, P.L. 111-84.
· H.R. 1622, the Spectrum Innovation Act, which authorizes the FCC to conduct incentive spectrum auctions generating billions of dollars to pay down our national debt, as well as unleashing spectrum for innovation and job creation. This incentive auction concept was included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, H.R. 3630 and signed into law.
· Latta authored language, which was included in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, and signed into law in July 2012 (P.L. 112-144), to help ease drug shortages in the hospital setting.
This year, Congressman Latta was honored by the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) with the Rx Safety and Leadership Award (Rx Award) for his leadership and commitment to advancing policies that enhance patient safety and security of the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain nationwide. Latta has also received the Ohio Farm Bureau’s “Friend of Farm Bureau” award, the United States Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award, National Association of Manufacturers’ award for “Manufacturing Legislative Excellence,” National Taxpayer Union’s “Taxpayer Friend Award” and the American Conservative Union’s “ACU Conservative” award. In 2009, Latta was recognized with the Association of the United States Navy National Legislative Advocacy Award for his “superb leadership and outstanding service during the 110th and 111th Congress to improve the quality of life of Active Component and Reserve Component military members and their families.”
As a member of the Ohio General Assembly, Latta was committed to eliminating the death tax to help Ohio’s citizens, small business owners, and farmers, which he achieved in 2000 when 78% of Ohio death tax filers were successfully eliminated. Congressman Latta also worked to make Ohio streets safer when he sponsored the DNA Bill that requires all felons and certain misdemeanants to give DNA samples, which are then placed in the state and national databases. Latta also sponsored the juvenile crime legislation, which in part holds juveniles more responsible for their actions.
A longtime sportsman committed to wildlife and the outdoors, Latta was awarded by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, formerly the Ohio Wildlife Federation, with the Patriot Award in 2002 and 2012, which is given for “dedication and leadership in defending our outdoor heritage.” During his tenure in the Ohio General Assembly, he sponsored the Bald Eagle license plate. The proceeds from these plates are used to purchase eagle habitat and for eagle preservation throughout Ohio. Congressman Latta also serves as a hunter education instructor for the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Congressman Latta has earned recognition from the United Conservatives of Ohio, naming him “Watchdog of the Treasury” in 1998, 2000, and 2005. The League of Ohio Sportsmen, which is affiliated with the Ohio Wildlife Federation and promotes environmental and sportsmen issues also nominated him in 2000 for the “Legislator of the Year” award. Latta has also earned recognition from the Ohio National Guard receiving the Major General Charles Dick Award for Legislative Excellence in 1999, and the “President’s Award” in 2006.
Congressman Latta is active in his community, where he is a member of the Bowling Green Kiwanis, having served as President, Director, and Trustee. Latta is also a member of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and the Wood County Farm Bureau.
A lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, Congressman Latta graduated from Bowling Green Senior High School in 1974. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University in 1978, and earned his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1981.
Congressman Latta and his wife Marcia reside in Bowling Green with their two daughters, Elizabeth and Maria.
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Wishing my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah!
I am pleased with the Senate's swift action on my #propane bill and encourage the President to expeditiously sign it into law, so we can avoid
Today, the House passed legislation I sponsored to address the #propane shortages and price spikes we experienced last winter. #RecordofSuccess
On #PearlHarbor Day, we remember our World War II #veterans and the monumental sacrifices they made in service to our country.
Check out The Weekly Republican Address with Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Congressman Pete Sessions and Congressman Ander Crenshaw on