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If not defund, Rep. Fleming says delay Obamacare - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

If not defund, Rep. Fleming says delay Obamacare

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SHREVEPORT, La -

As if delays to key parts of Obamacare, and system glitches threatening the scheduled rollout of state health care exchanges a mere six weeks from now aren't enough. Republicans in Washington are scheming on how to completely derail the law. But surprisingly, Louisiana Congressman John Fleming thinks both sides may actually come to an agreement -- to delay the whole thing.

But the clock is ticking. Just like Twinkle Thompson's heart. She went for an exam at the David Raines Community Health Center in Shreveport this week. She's on Medicaid. But the single mom of two says since she started work in the restaurant business she's going to lose her medicaid.

"I just pray that I don't get sick no time soon," she says.

Thompson would be one of the 50-million Americans helped by subsidized healthcare under Obamacare -- the Affordable Care Act -- as it's formally known.

But lately, the news on Obamacare is bad.

CNN reported recently that individual health premiums will soar in some states -- like 41 percent in Ohio and 35 percent in Florida.

NBC News says businesses claim that Obamacare has forced them to cut employee hours by making workers go part-time.

That lead three top unions to tell Congress that Obamacare will "destroy the very health and wellbeing" of workers, shattering hard-earned health benefits, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"All that is coming to fruition," says Louisiana 4th District Congressman Fleming."

He and the GOP are saying 'I told you so.' But now they're faced with a dilemma: should they defund Obamacare in a stopgap spending measure? And risk government shutdown?

Fleming says he's for defunding Obamacare. But, nationally, it's seen as politically risky. So Fleming has another idea -- delay it.

He says since President Obama has already delayed two other key provisions -- the big employer mandate and a cap on out-of-pocket costs -- and with polls showing Obamacare unpopular, the president and Democrats facing re-election next year may like the idea.

"Delay it another year. Delay everything. Taxes, implementation, everything," Fleming says. "We could potentially delay Obamacare year after year until he's fully out of office and we have a whole new political landscape that is willing to do something about it and solve the problem."

But Willie White, CEO of the David Raines Community Health Centers, says of the law's hiccups, "Any piece of major legislation like this is going to take some massaging."

The David Raines centers treat thousands of working poor in the Shreveport-Bossier area. White defends Obamacare as a way of controlling health care costs.

"We're paying as much as a $1,200 tax in terms of our current insurance premiums to cover those who are uninsured," White says, adding that getting people coverage under Obamacare will lead to more preventative care -- and less costly emergency and acute care.

Rep. Fleming also criticizes President Obama for acting as "a ruler," by unilaterally changing the law. He's talking about the delays on the employer mandate and the cap on out-of-pocket costs.

Some upcoming key dates and figures:

Oct. 1 -- A stopgap spending measure must be in place, or the government could shut down. On that same day, enrollment in the state health care insurance exchanges under Obamacare is supposed to begin.

Jan. 1 -- Obamacare coverage begins. If you're not covered, you'd pay a fine of $95 dollars or one percent of your family income -- whichever is more.

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