In Oct. 7 Issue
With Congress in recess, Congressman Ed Whitfield is out visiting the counties in Kentucky's 1st District which he represents.
"I've enjoyed having a lot of discussions with people right now just to gauge what people are really thinking about today," said Congressman Whitfield. "What I'm finding out is, of course, everyone is still concerned about the economy because unemployment is so high."
In a visit this week to Russell County, Congressman Whitfield stressed his focus is on small businesses to create jobs and stimulate the economy in particular since they create 2 out of every 3 jobs in America.
He said small businesses are going to have to have the confidence to expand and try to get the economy going again.
The reason he says that is not happening is because of uncertainty regarding health care, tax policy, the regulatory reform bill, and energy policy.
"No one has any idea what the health care system is going to cost them or how it's going to work and they're not going to know for about 3 years or so because the healthcare bill is a 2,400 page document with thousands of pages of regulations," Whitfield said.
With $500 billion coming out of the Medicare system and no additional funding provided by the Healthcare Bill for Medicaid, Whitfield said state's deficit issues will increase.
He says giving people the opportunity to use more medical savings accounts, expansion of community health centers, and opening up insurance in Kentucky to offer more plans and create competition among companies to lower premiums will work toward a sustainable health care system.
"We're expanding the community health centers," said Whitfield. "Anyone has access to community health centers regardless of income and you pay based on your ability to pay."
A concern also is proposed changes in tax policy that will increase taxes for those with an annual income of $250,000 or more and will affect many small businesses in the country.
However, he said everyone in the U.S. will face tax hikes if the Bush tax cuts are not extended.
"If Congress does not take some action, by the end of the year, everyone's income tax is going to go up," Whitfield said.