Donnelly Response Letter
Created by pmiller on 9/18/2013 5:56:58 PM

The Donnelly Response Letter:

August 29, 2013

Dear Mrs. xxxxxxx,

I appreciate the time you took to express your thoughts about health care reform. Like you, I believe reform should expand access to quality and affordable care while also encouraging our economy to grow. While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148) provides important reforms that will benefit countless Hoosiers, like many bills passed through Congress, the ACA is not perfect.

First, it is important to recognize that the ACA contains a number of provisions that have already benefitted Hoosiers. These provisions include allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance until the age of 26, lowering the cost of prescription drugs for our seniors by closing the Medicare "donut hole," requiring health insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions, and providing tax breaks for small businesses.

The bill, however, can be improved. Over the last several years, I have worked with both Republicans and Democrats to strengthen and improve this important legislation. For example, I am a cosponsor of S. 232, theMedical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act, a bill that would promote innovation, preserve high-paying jobs, and encourage economic growth for manufacturers of lifesaving medical devices by repealing a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of certain medical devices. Repealing this tax will help <st1:place w:st="on">Indiana's medical device industry protect and create good jobs.

In addition, I recently sent a letter to President Obama requesting ample transition relief, free from penalty, for businesses struggling to understand new requirements under the ACA. I am pleased that on July 2, 2013, the Obama Administration announced that they would implement a year of transition relief, free of penalty, for employers as they work to better understand what health care reform means for their businesses. A year of transition relief will also give lawmakers the opportunity to improve the law so that it works better for Hoosier families and small businesses.

To that end, I also introduced S. 1188, theForty Hours is Full Time Act, which would change the definition of a "full-time employee" in the ACA to someone who works an average of at least 40 hours per week. Under current law, employers with 50 or more full-time workers will be required to offer health insurance coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. As a result of this 30 hour definition of full-time, many Hoosier small businesses, public school systems, and non-profit organizations are faced with tough decisions about expanding their workforce or reducing the number of hours their part-time employees are scheduled to work. I am hopeful that an extra year of transition will allow Congress to make common sense changes to the ACA that address the concerns of both employers and employees.

Going forward, we must continue to work for a stronger and more affordable health care system that will protect our seniors and families, while also allowing our businesses to grow.

It is a privilege to represent you and all Hoosiers in the U.S. Senate. Your continued correspondence is welcome and helps me to better represent our state. I encourage you to write, call, or email if my office can ever be of assistance. You can also check out my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter by visiting my website.