GOP Refer Constituents' Obamacare Queries Back to Administration

Sunday, 16 Jun 2013 11:56 AM

By Audrey Hudson

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The Obama administration has failed to let Republicans in Congress know how Obamacare will affect their constituents, forcing lawmakers to essentially push the call-forward button on questioning phone calls flooding their offices.

While congressional offices in Washington focus on passing laws, it’s up to the thousands of district offices all over the country to help voters navigate Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs.

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah says he already has dedicated staff members to deal with the new healthcare law but will have to use the Obama administration to handle the overflow of phone calls.

“I'm sure there will be an uptick in that, but all we can do is pass them back to the Obama administration. The ball's in their court. They're responsible for it,” Chaffetz told The Hill.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows a majority of Americans and two-thirds of those uninsured still aren’t sure how Obamacare will affect them.

“Given that we come from Kansas, it's much easier to say, 'Call your former governor,’” said Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, referring to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the former governor now overseeing the Obamacare implementation.

Some Republicans are prepared to go the extra mile for their constituents, despite their disdain for the new law that takes effect in January.

Republican Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona says he plans to hold town meetings to help small businesses and individuals prepare for all of the new regulations.

“We're going to play them absolutely straight,” Schweikert said. “We're going to invite some experts, and they're going to explain what is going to help and what is going to hurt.”

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