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Daily Local News – March 10, 2014

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Within the two thousand page Obamacare law is a two-point-three percent excise tax on the total sales of medical devices that are used in hospitals every day; A local group has scheduled a public meeting for tomorrow evening to discuss ISTEP and other standardized testing in local schools; On March 5th a proposed cell tower southwest of Bloomington cleared a bureaucratic hurdle complicated by the new Interstate 69; The 6th annual March Against Hunger food drive competition began last week.

FEATURE
Energy Efficiency Program on Chopping Block
With four days left in this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers are still considering a bill that would end programs aimed at increasing energy efficiency. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford has that story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE!
Creon Harper of Stonebelt talks about volunteer opportunies with the organization and events celebrating the 55th Anniversary of the Stonebelt Center.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Ally Tsimekles (chim-uh-kliss), David Murphy, and Olivia DeWeese,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford.
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineer today is Chris Martin,
Editor is Drew Daudelin, Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

IU Students Form ‘March Madness’ Volunteer Group to Spread Information on Obamacare

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The Indiana University and Ivy Tech students of the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County are starting a new campus organization.

The group is launching a March healthcare campaign called “Madness” that will help students learn more about health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.

David Meyer, president of the ACA Volunteers of Monroe County, says this campaign will have campus-wide events, but want to focus on social media.

“We have a couple of students who are co-leads on the campaign,” Meyer says, “They divide up the responsibilities between social media and public events and direct outreach. Since so many students are deeply involved in social media, that’s a major way to provide them with information.  It’s still in the early stages, but we’re focused on getting this going right now because the deadline for signing up for coverage is March 31.”

Meyer says the cost of health insurance may be less expensive than the penalty students will have to pay if they do not get health insurance by March 31.

Students who are claimed as a dependent on their parents taxes will not have to pay the penalty, but their parents will.

Meyer says he hopes the campaign will help answer questions about the ACA that differ from questions that older adults may have about healthcare.

“We have a couple of students who are co-leads on the campaign,” Meyers says, “They divide up the responsibilities between social media and public events and direct outreach. Since so many students are deeply involved in social media, that’s a major way to provide them with information.  It’s still in the early stages, but we’re focused on getting this going right now because the deadline for signing up for coverage is March 31.”

The next event for the ACA Volunteers of Monroe County is the Health Insurance Community Fair. The fair is next Thursday, March 6 at the Monroe County Library from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Meyer says the event will give students and community members a chance to pair with trained volunteers that will help them answer questions they have concerning the ACA.

Local Volunteers Spread the Word About Affordable Care Act Information to Local Faith Leaders

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The Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County Incorporated launched their Faith Neighbors Campaign on Sunday. The campaign is designed to directly contact each faith community in Monroe County. David Meyer is president of the group.

“The Faith Neighbors Campaign is an outreach effort to all communities of faith in Monroe County,” Meyer says, “We count about 155 of them, and we send them packages that include takeaway information at our free public events.”

The ACA Volunteers of Monroe County  will provide information to those in need at various congregations. Their goal is to help community members learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect them.

“Ultimately, it’s about cutting through both the political and controversial new cycle on the Affordable Care Act,” Meyers says, “We want to get down to what it means for us and have a practical discussion about the ACA.”

Meyer says that they have reached out to 400 so far, and are hoping to reach out to over 1,000  people in the next four weeks.

Part 2 of Health and Education with Glenda Ritz and Rob Stone

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On Saturday November 23rd The Brown County Democratic Party invited the public to join a brown bag lunch session with Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and the Director and Founder of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan Rob Stone, M.D. The event was free to the public, and included a question and answer period. Part 1 focused on Education and Part 2 explores Health issues here in the Hoosier State. This event was recorded on location at The Seasons Lodge Conference Center in Brown County by Community Access Television services for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

Health and Education With Glenda Ritz

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 On Saturday November 23rd The Brown County Democratic Party invited the public to join a brown bag lunch session with Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and the Director and Founder of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan Rob Stone, M.D. The event was free to the public, and included a question and answer period. Part 1 focuses on Education and Part 2 on Health here in the Hoosier State. This event was recorded on location at The Seasons Lodge Conference Center in Brown County by Community Access Television services for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

Volunteers will help anyone with questions about the Affordable Care Act tomorrow

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Local volunteers will again help people understand and navigate the enrollment process for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County will be providing information and guidance this Wednesday at the Monroe County library, for anyone interested in the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace. Wednesday’s fair will be the third the group has presented in the last month.

David Meyer, president of the volunteers, says the upcoming session will have a bigger space, additional process guides that help answer specific questions about the ACA and help people get more detailed resources and information covered.

Volunteers have seen a gradual increase in the numbers of people seeking information at their fairs.

This increase is expected to further escalate, as the December 15 deadline approaches to sign up for insurance coverage as the January 1 of next year.

The Indiana Insurance Marketplace is part of the national marketplace website, so it has suffered many of the same problems as the 25 other states that decided not to establish their own version of the program. However, Meyer says he hears the national website is becoming more navigable.

“What we do at these fairs is work to educate and answer questions for anyone that comes out,” Meyer says, “We also want them to know how health insurance works in general. Our focus is on educating people so they can make decisions for themselves and self-enroll.”

There are 19 insurance companies offering health insurance to Monroe County residents on the Indiana ACA exchange. Meyer and these volunteers will also provide advice to fair visitors who may not be eligible for insurance enrollment under the ACA.

The fair will run tomorrow, November 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m, in rooms 1B and 1C on the lower floor of the Monroe County Public Library. Attendance is free of charge, and no documentation is required.

Voices in the Street – Shutdowns, Defaults and Roll-outs: The Obamacare War Rages On

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With the government shutdown over and having narrowly escaped default on our debt, Democrats were well-poised to make significant gains in public opinion and perhaps the 2014 elections.  But the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act website found less than 10% of the 19 million people who tried signing up were successful.  So we hit the streets to ask your friends and neighbors:  Have  Republicans hurt their brand with their relentless, yet unsuccessful attempts to defund Obamacare, or have Democrats proven that the government isn’t capable of doing anything right with their less-than-impressive roll-out of healthcare.gov?

Senator Coats Proposes Legislation To Delay Obamacare

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Senator Dan Coats has proposed legislation to delay the implementation of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) until at least 2015.

Coats says the Act’s mandates are driving up insurance premiums and forcing businesses to cut workers’ hours or even jobs so that employers can avoid the act’s expensive legal requirements.

Moreover, he says, some families are having to switch their health insurance plans due to government requirements.

Coats’ plan is to delay the Obamacare mandates until the 2014  election.

Coats’ legislation, proposed yesterday, mirrors legislation in the House of Representatives put forth by Indiana’s Republican member Todd Young, which passed.

According to Senator Coats, “Congressman Young and I agree that rather than delay a bad policy for some, all Hoosier families should  be exempted from Obamacare’s taxes and mandates.”

 

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