Tim Vandenack
Tim Vandenack
In Indiana Buzz, reporter Tim Vandenack blogs on politics, immigration, elections, taxes, errant geese and more.

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Sen. Donnelly lauds flood insurance legislation meant to temper spikes in coverage costs

The flood measure would temper spikes in insurance coverage, sought by some in Elkhart.

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 8:33 p.m.

Friday March 14, 2014

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly lauded legislation to temper spikes in the price of federal flood insurance geared to homeowners, an issue that's raised some concern here in Elkhart.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski is sponsoring legislation meant to gauge the impact of Obamacare to a Medicare program.

Here's the skinny:

Flood insurance: Donnelly, a Democrat, as well as U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, a Republican, voted for House Resolution 3370, meant to protect those reliant on federal flood insurance from sharp spikes in the cost of coverage. It passed 72-22 and now goes to President Obama for his signature.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is meant to control government costs associated with the National Flood Insurance Program in part by raising coverage costs, but some charge the increases are extreme. It's been an issue for some living in areas adjacent to rivers here in Elkhart.

H.R. 3370 tweaks Biggert-Waters and "includes provisions that limit maximum annual premium increases, grandfather existing properties, require (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to conduct an affordability study, and ensure that homeowners get credit for flood mitigation efforts," said Donnelly's statement.

The Medicare legislation: Walorski, a Republican, authored the Advantage of Medicare Advantage for Minorities and Low-Income Seniors Act and testified on it Thursday before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. 

The legislation, she said in a press release, would require the Government Accountability Office "to study the number of minority and low-income seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage and to assess the impacts of cuts to the program resulting from the Affordable Care Act."

Walorski has been a firm critic of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and noted the import of the Medicare Advantage program.

Obamacare requirements "have placed a huge burden on the Medicare Advantage program, the results of which will be felt by those seniors we have promised to care for," Walorski said. "These cuts to the program have the potential to unfairly affect both low-income and minority populations."

Medicare Advantage plans, "sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by private companies approved by Medicare," according to the website for Medicare, the federal health insurance program geared to the elderly.

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