Business and Economics

Visclosky Fields Region’s Priorities in Forum

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January 9, 2014 by Denise Turner

Indiana’s First District U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky is speaking to constituents in  his district about federal government priorities and services.  Though this week’s winter storm shortened Visclosky’s planned town forum tour, some residents were able to meet with him before the storm to share their priorities with the congressman.

Visclosky opened his Munster town forum with thoughts about people fighting on behalf of the country, then he brought the conversation closer to home when he changed the focus to the South Shore Train Line Expansion.

Visclosky says, “I think the expansion of the SouthShore will attract young people to Northwest Indiana to tie many of our existing resources together.  The sad fact is since 1971 we’ve lost 9.6% of our population in LakeCounty.”

Visclosky answered questions about topics ranging from guns to housing laws.  Harry Murphy owns condominiums in Munster, and he says a new ruling under the Home affordable Refinance Program is making it difficult for him and other owners in his complex to sell or refinance, “We tried contacting Mr. Visclosky’s office, and they were helpful.  They said they think they could do something on a case by case basis.”

The congressman says the crowd’s biggest concern is the Affordable Care Act.  Forum attendee Matthew Skiba agrees, “My concern as a young person, I graduate in May, and having to purchase insurance via my employer, so my concern is the rising cost of healthcare and my tax dollars.”

David Kloeckner also attended the forum, “The major thing I was coming here for today is to try and point these problems out to the congressman, even through he’s from Indiana, because I would hope he would bring the message back to Washington.”

Visclosky says Indiana previously had a system where people with pre-existing conditions including children could not get coverage, “As we implement a new program there will be problems.  That’s one of the reasons we do the town forums is to hear from individuals if they are having a problem we want to and would invite them to contact our office.”

Some residents who attended the town forum say they are glad they met and spoke with the congressman.  They said he responded the best to his knowledge, but some says they were a little disappointed that they could not get more detailed responses from him.



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