GREENSBURG – The flurry of activity that has accompanied the new legislative session at the Indiana General Assembly spilled out into the Tree City Saturday during a town hall meeting at Decatur County REMC.
Sponsored by the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, the meeting brought two state senators, two state representatives and a U.S. Congressman to Greensburg for a short session intended to inform the general public of the present state of things in Indianapolis and on Capitol Hill.
The panel included District 67 State Representative Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), District 55 State Representative Cindy Ziemke (R-Batesville), District 42 State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) and District 43 State Senator Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg).
The group was briefly joined by U.S. Congressman Luke Messer, a Republican who represents Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District.
Chief among a litany of items affecting the state – and the nation as a whole – is the recent roll-out of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Law.
Congressman Messer described the debut of the program as “disastrous,” with the after-effects “touching every district” in Indiana and beyond.
Messer, a native of Greensburg, was a vocal opponent of the new law and called for its repeal. The president’s signature legislation requires essentially every United States citizen to enroll in a healthcare plan. Those who do not may be subject to fines.
The controversy over the new law helped bring about such a division in Washington last fall that a government shut-down occurred, lasting for 16 days.
With that in his rearview mirror, Messer said the next step is informing the public what individuals must do to comply with the law.
“It’s the law of the land and we have a responsibility to help everyone understand it,” Messer said.
“It’s clear that it’s [the Affordable Care Act] helped some people, but it’s also clear that it’s hurt more people than it’s helped.”