GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – Hoosier business owners and education officials aired out their concerns about the Affordable Care Act to Congress without having to go all the way to Washington D.C. on Thursday.
The Congressional Committee on Education and Workforce held the hearing at Greenfield City Hall.
The chambers there are clearly smaller than the halls of Congress, but that’s exactly the way committee members wanted it. Several panelists were concerned about how ACA has been affecting their budgets.
“They have no way to raise, to get more revenue and what they’re having to do is cut hours for people who desperately need those hours,” said Tennessee Congressman David Roe (R), also the committee chairman.
Cutting hours is exactly what Ivy Tech Community College President Tom Snyder echoed to the committee.
“(ACA regulations) puts the burden on the student. We have to either reduce adjunct hours or charge them more tuition. The choice is we’re going to have to reduce adjunct hours which means access to education is limited,” said Snyder.
He was one of four education officials who spoke to the committee on Thursday, hoping they wouldn’t just listen but act.
“We’ve got to move past the partisanship and common sense solutions,” said Indiana Congressman Luke Messer (R). “There is common ground here and I think that’s what voters demand.”
Business leaders had their chance too, but in between them was Dr. Robert Stone, the Director of Palliative Care at IU Health Bloomington Hospital and also one of the few panelists who seemed to stick up for the ACA.
“While I agree the ACA needs a lot of improvement. I think the direction we’ve got to go is forward, cover more people and not backward away from coverage,” he said.
“The ACA is the law of the land right now,” said Roe. “We don’t think it’s the right approach to providing health care and we believe that we ought to try to provide affordable health care for all Americans.”
Indiana Congressman Larry Buschon said some of those potential changes to the ACA are already happening, citing how the “Save American Workers Act” passed the house last April.
That bill would change the definition of a full-time worker from 30 hours to 40, one of the top desires from panelists today.
Roe added that several more hearings like the one Thursday will be scheduled across the country.