Pella Chronicle

Local News

March 14, 2013

Loebsack addresses Washington Issues

(Continued)

Loebsack was asked if the impact furloughs of government employees can have on America’s economy, is a sign that the federal government is too big. He said that whatever change in spending exists, there will be an impact on the economy, and in regard to the size of government, he believes more efficiency can be found.

“We can always do better,” Loebsack said.

One of the protected areas of funding is health care, and Loebsack believes Iowa would benefit from an expansion of Medicaid. The expansion of Iowa Care, proposed by Gov. Terry Branstad, will not be allowed. Loebsack believes that even if it could be, Iowa Care expansion would not cover as many people for as many health issues as a Medicaid expansion would.

Loebsack recognizes concern about the lack of funds available for federal spending, but he believes that Medicaid expansion would help save counties money. To try to combat waste and deficits, Loebsack said he looks over federal agencies to see if they are spending taxpayer money wisely and being cost effective. As a Representative in Congress, Loebsack believes it is his job to engage the agencies and call upon them to do the best job that they can.

A constant concern Loebsack hears is that regarding mental health. Several weeks ago, after the Sandy Hook shootings, Loebsack hosted a call-in forum with law enforcement. Officers indicated they believe the greatest challenge to combating mass shootings is mental health care.

“Mental health seems to be the one constant,” Loebsack said. In the wake of the shooting, several gun control bills were proposed, but seemed to go nowhere. The extent of the discussion regarding guns in Washington today is more focused on background checks and the amount of ammunition a gun can hold. The Congressman is guided by the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the Second Amendment, that Americans have the right to bear arms. Loebsack admits he has no idea where the discussion will go, as he is focused on dealing with mental health.

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