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Saturday, September 7, 2013


Marcia L. Fudge Representing the 11th District of Ohio

Dear Friends,

In the coming weeks, Congress has much to do and on your behalf, I stand ready to work for fair and just legislation that meets the needs of our district.
  • The House must revisit the Farm Bill, having stripped all nutrition programs including SNAP (food stamps) from consideration in the agriculture bill that passed in June. Reportedly, House Leadership will present a bill with up to $40 billion in cuts to SNAP over 10 years which would result in millions of people losing benefits. I strongly oppose deep cuts to SNAP at a time when 47 million Americans are struggling to make ends meet and they rely on these benefits to put food on the table.
  • According to the Federal Highway Administration, Ohio has the fourth busiest interstates in the nation. A study by the American Society of Civil Engineers found that in 2013, 9% of Ohio's bridges are structurally deficient. Despite the urgent need to maintain and repair our infrastructure, the House failed in July to pass a Transportation Bill. Moderates on both sides of the aisle could not support the steep cuts included in a bill that House leadership pulled from the floor before a final vote. This measure would have cost jobs and denied resources to states and cities to maintain roads, water and sewer infrastructure, as well as public housing.
  • By October 1st, the House must also take action on what is known as a continuing resolution. This is a legislative mechanism to ensure that our federal government has the authority to fund its courts, agencies and meet its other obligations. Also during the month of October, the government will reach the debt ceiling. It must be raised to ensure that our nation has the resources to pay its outstanding bills. Refusal to raise the debt limit directly threatens our government's ability to issue Social Security checks, meet military payroll and pay for all other operations. It would also likely result in higher borrowing costs in the future.
  • Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins on October 1st and I have included in this e-newsletter important information for the thousands of Northeast Ohioans who are eligible to participate.
If you have questions or concerns about these issues or any other federal legislation or programs, please feel free to contact my District or Washington, D.C. offices and my staff will be happy to assist you.

Marcia L. Fudge
U.S. Representative, 11th District of Ohio

  • The claims backlog now stands at: 490,000 (claims pending more than 125 days; reduced by almost 20 percent from its highest point in April).
  • In July, VA completed 104,923 claims.
  • VA has completed more than 1 million claims each year from the last three years.


Consumers who purchase their own insurance have a new option. They will be able to shop for plans available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Enrollment begins on October 1st for plan coverage that goes into effect beginning January 1, 2014. For the first time, individuals cannot be denied coverage by insurance companies based on pre-existing conditions or lifetime caps. In Ohio, 14 insurers have filed plans with more than 200 options for individual insurance, and seven insurance companies have filed plans to offer 84 options for small businesses. (In most cases, the Marketplace is not for individuals who obtain health coverage through a group plan offered by an employer or a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid. If you fall into any of those categories, you can continue to apply for coverage through those entities.)

Subsidies are available on a sliding scale for individuals with an income up to 400% of the federal poverty line. The chart below which was prepared by CNN, provides examples of subsidies based on income for the second lowest silver grade plan. The Marketplace offers different types of health plans to meet a variety of needs and budgets. You’ll need to figure out how much you want to spend on health coverage each month. Under the Affordable Care Act however, all plans must offer a required minimum level of essential benefits such as coverage for hospitalization, doctor’s services, prescription drugs and maternity/newborn care.

The Cleveland Public Library (CPL) will have dedicated computers for customers who wish to enroll in the Health Marketplace. In September, CPL will also hold free informational sessions conducted by Care Source on Affordable Care Act programs. The sessions will be held at the Main Library and 15 branches. Please contact your nearest library branch for more information.

Example of monthly premiums adjusted for tax subsidies for a single individual

(Premiums will vary depending on family size, type of health plan selected and income.)
Courtesy CNN

Where to Enroll and Get More Information

Directly online, go to healthcare.gov,
Call the toll-free number, 1-800-318-2596.
Although enrollment does not begin until October 1, 2013, you can get information about the Marketplace through either of those resources right away, or by calling my Cuyahoga County District office at 216-522-4900.


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