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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall to host congressional hearing on Obamacare in Gainesville

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall

Congressmen from as far away as California will be in Georgia Monday, as U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville, hosts a field hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, focused on Obamacare.

The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Hall County Government Center, and will focus on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on families, small businesses and healthcare providers throughout the region, especially in rural areas, where federal exchanges have limited options for customers, often at double the cost of urban areas.

“I have never supported the government takeover of healthcare imagined by the Affordable Care Act,” Woodall said in a press release about the hearing, which he will chair. “Large federal initiatives are often marked by misleading reports and gross mismanagement, and unfortunately ObamaCare is no exception. Most important to me, though, is how this law is affecting families at home in Georgia.

“Too often, Washington simply talks. This hearing is focused on listening, and as a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I am pleased Chairman Issa shares my interest in hearing what the residents of Georgia have to say,” Woodall continued. “I hope that some families have been helped by ObamaCare. I am certain that millions have been hurt. I hope that both Congress and the President will listen to what the participants in this hearing have to say, and that we will be able to work together to quickly repeal and replace those areas of concern.”

Darrell Issa, the committee’s chairman who represents Californians in Congress, will be attendance at Monday’s hearing.

“Millions of Americans are losing their insurance as a result of the President’s healthcare law and even more are seeing their premiums increase beyond what they can afford,” Issa said. “This hearing will give the committee an opportunity to hear first hand from those in rural areas who are being hit the hardest by shrinking choices and skyrocketing costs, and the impact that is having on their families.”

While critics have called similar hearings by House Republicans witch hunts, Woodall said the impetus for the hearing is constituent services.

“I regret that this hearing is necessary at all, but am grateful Chairman Issa and my Committee colleagues are willing to come and hear from Georgia constituents,” Woodall said. “The stories of family after family losing healthcare coverage because of this terribly misguided legislation are all too real. Washington’s political agenda should never be at the expense of those we are there to serve. I am eager to chair this event, and look forward to learning from the experiences of those being affected by this law and utilizing that information to make decisions on behalf of my constituents in Georgia.”

Gwinnett businessman Raymer Sale, the president of E2E Benefits Services, who is a past board chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, will testify at the hearing.

International expert to speak at Tea Party event

The Gwinnett Tea Party’s speaker this week has an interesting insight not only into American politics but international issues.

George Birnbaum, the former chief of staff for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will speak at a free Tuesday night event.

Birnbaum was raised in Atanta and worked on congressional and gubernatorial campaigns across the country before joining an international consulting firm, where he worked on campaigns for prime minister in countries such as Israel, Bulgaria, Austria, Romania, Kosovo and the Czech Republic.

“Many of the leaders Mr. Birnbaum helped have gone on to reform tax codes by passing flat taxes, constitutionally limiting deficit spending and making moves to reduce the size and scope of government,” a press release from the Gwinnett Tea Party said. “The lessons he learned watching countries experience freedom and liberty as they emerged from the former Soviet Union have only emphasized the dangers of the path the Obama administration has chosen.”

Tuesday’s event is the regular meeting of the Gwinnett Tea Party. It will be held at Ippolito’s Restaurant in Suwanee Town Center at 7:30. The meeting is free, but those who wish to order food should plan to be there by 7 p.m.

For more information, send an email to info@GwinnettTeaParty.org or visit the Tea Party’s website at www.GwinnettTeaParty.org.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.