Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

April 22, 2014

Brian Howey: Doctors Brown and Bucshon become seekers

Seated across the table from me at Cafe Patachou were Drs. Tim Brown and Larry Bucshon.

Dr. Bucshon was a heart surgeon from Newburgh. Dr. Brown is an emergency room physician from Crawfordsville. What made this breakfast meeting extraordinary is that Brown is the powerful Republican chairman of the Indiana House Ways & Means Committee, which plays a huge role in developing $30 billion biennial budgets. Bucshon is the Republican congressman from Southwestern Indiana.

The two were embarking on a statewide “listening tour.” In more than three decades of covering Indiana politics, I cannot remember a legislator and member of Congress doing anything like this. And it couldn’t come at a better time.

The Affordable Care Act – or “Obamacare” – had just passed its first signup deadline. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 145,189 Hoosiers were eligible for coverage, 93,720 eligible for subsidies, 65,846 eligible for Medicaid, and 64,971 (through March 1) had selected a plan through the federal health exchange.

I had a personal bone to pick with these lawmakers. My 24-year-old son signed up for a plan that will cost him about $100 a month. Good for him. A middle-aged friend of mine qualified for a subsidy for his family of four and will be paying about $6 a month. That is not a typo: $6. Me? I’m a non-smoking 58-year-old self-employed single guy who has had a vasectomy. I earn too much for a subsidy. My previous plan cost me $350 a month. It went up to $444 last fall. And when the plan lapsed, I ended up on the federal Healthcare.gov website. An employee stayed on the phone with me as I went to the federal exchange (which worked flawlessly).

My total monthly cost: $718 a month.

I had shopped around prior and a broker from Mishawaka had warned me of “sticker shock.” Why, I asked, did the cost of my options go up so much? “Because you’re paying for maternity and pediatric benefits,” she told me.

Text Only
Columns
  • nei-gb082014-linda kennett column pic A collecting bonus? It's in the cards Remember the packs of sports trading cards from the 1970s and 80s? I recently stumbled across several boxes of them that I thought my son had taken when he bought his first home 15 years ago. But there they were, still in the closet and mixed among t

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • nei-gb082014-homemakers column file photo Summer has flown by It seems summer is nearly gone. The State Fair is over, the Power of the Past is gone for another year, and the children are back in school. It may be time to think about getting involved in making and donating some items for Riley Hospital. We alw

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pat Smith: Goofy golf raises breast cancer awareness Last week I stopped in to ask Susan Doerflinger Burkhart to please interpret a letter I received from an insurance company I had two or more years ago. As usual, she was able to ease my mind. While there she asked if I was going to play in the all-fe

    August 20, 2014

  • Craft brewers, vintners bring spirits to State Fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week.When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putti

    August 19, 2014

  • Back to the classroom These days, it seems like the summers are going by even faster than they did when I was a student! Just yesterday, the temperatures were beginning to warm up and children were hanging up their backpacks. Now, many of them are already back in the clas

    August 19, 2014

  • Our children and their children Let’s ponder “our children” and “their children.”First, Gov. Mike Pence made a wise call this past week when he ordered the Department of Child Services to begin reimbursing families who had adopted special needs children.A class action lawsuit filed

    August 19, 2014

  • Remember the joy Williams gave Ball State’s Wes Gehring, the author of dozens of books on Hollywood stars, says the apparent suicide of Robin Williams will not tarnish the comedian’s legendary achievements.Williams was found dead Monday in his California home. He was 63.“As the li

    August 16, 2014

  • Why government fails Whatever our political stripe, we all want government to fail less often. Citizens and the media need to pressure elected officials to spend more time digging into the nitty-gritty of fixing bureaucracies.As election season approaches, I’ve been pond

    August 14, 2014

  • Giving young people a second chance How many of you know what the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy is? More basically, how many of you know where it is? I had a vague notion of where it is, but I would have been hard-pressed to tell you much about what it is.The Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe

    August 14, 2014

  • Camping for kicks and giggles (The chances of pitching your tent on a hill of fire ants are directly proportional to the distance from the nearest hospital.)Camping, most notably primitive style, can be a rewarding and fun experience, especially if the site is on the bank of a ho

    August 14, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Heavy Rains Flood Arizona Roads US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.