By Wayne Allen
Sixth District Congressman Bill Johnson was in Scioto County on Monday for a number of activities including a ride-a-long with a UPS driver in the Wheelersburg area.
Johnson talked about the importance of business to the American economy.
“Business is what drives our (America’s) economic engine, 60 percent of the jobs in the country are created by small businesses and you guys (UPS) provide the logistic backbone for that,” Johnson said. “You guys are innovators, that’s what some of us in Washington are trying to be. You’ve got some that have created a very business unfriendly climate in America, between regulatory pressures and tax pressures that makes it difficult today for businesses to thrive. You guys are the backbone for many of America’s small businesses”
Johnson then provided an update to those in attendance about things he and his staff are working on in Washington.
“FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) did something really dumb. They launched out and started some flood insurance reforms without doing what the law required them to do. The law requires them (FEMA) to go through an affordability study before they redrew the maps and increase rates, they did not do that,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately a lot of Americans both, individual homeowners and businesses were hit with skyrocketing flood insurance premiums. There is a restaurant in Marietta (Ohio) who’s 2013 flood insurance bill was $2,300, they get their bill this year and it’s $23,000.”
He said in some cases the flood insurance premiums are more than the value of the home.
“We took some action last week called the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act. We did this to put some common sense into this and to make sure people are not experiencing skyrocketing premiums,” Johnson said. “We hope the Senate takes this legislation and the president does something about it.”
He said one other issues his office is working on is called the Seniors Fairness Act.
“How many of you are aware of the billions of dollars that was cut from Medicare Advantage with the presidents healthcare law. About 794,000 Ohioans participate in Medicare Advantage. Along the Ohio River that number is around 50,000 and 60,000 people,” Johnson said. The cuts to the Medicare Advantage program is going to cause less access, less service skyrocketing premiums for it’s participants. It’s just not fair, the president and the administration have given a break to big businesses, to others that are supporters of his, but he has not given that same break to the hard working American people.”
Johnson said as a result action has been taken and they are in the process of taking additional action.
Johnson then opened up the conversation to some questions from those in attendance.
For more information about Congressman Bill Johnson visit billjohnson.house.gov.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT