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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Representative Charlie Dent / Standoff at Atlantic Sunrise

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Mar 12, 2017 8:00 AM
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Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania's 15th District / photo: Lehigh Valley Live

The U.S. House of Representatives has unveiled a healthcare plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.  Republican lawmakers committed to 'repeal and replacement' of the ACA or Obamacare.  The new program is drawing criticism from both sides of the aisle.

Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania's 15th District (Lehigh, parts of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon and Northampton Counties) has also been critical of the ACA, but voted against dismantling it back in January.  In speaking with The Morning Call, he said "Before I load a gun, I like to know where it's pointed.  I'm not yet clear on that point."

Representative Dent appears on Monday's Smart Talk to discuss the efforts to replace the ACA and talk about issues including the government's travel ban and immigration policy. 

Listeners are welcome to call Smart Talk at 800-729-7532 or email us at 'smarttalk@witf.org' to ask questions of Rep. Dent.

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photo: Lancaster Online

Also, Landowners opposed to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline have been meeting in a barn and camping on private property in the proposed pathway; Conestoga Township is trying to displace the protestors citing zoning violations in the use of the barn.   StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick discusses the protest encampment in Lancaster County and other developments in the pipeline project.  

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Marie Cusick - Reporter, State Impact Pennsylvania

EMAILS

for Representative Dent:

- The 2008 Recession devastated my business.  Last year I netted just $22,750, which after Federal, State, and local taxes was reduced to $16,900, or a little more than $1400 per month.

I could not afford health insurance before the ACA. Now, because of ACA subsidies, I can purchase a health plan that would cost $841 per month--that's over $10,000 per year--for a nominal $4 per month, or $48 per year.

As the Republican plan would eliminate my subsidy and replace it with a tax credit of no more than  $4000, where, on my income, do you suggest I find the $6000 difference?

Incidentally, since you are so opposed to government handouts, will you be giving up the premium health care plan that I buy for you with my taxes?                         - John

- I have written to the Congressman and both Senators Toomey and Casey about Trump's potential conflict of interest and refusal to submit his tax returns.  I don't understand how anyone can think there is no issue here just because Trump says there isn't in light of all of his false and misleading statements.  Where does this stand and what is Congressman Dent's position on this and what is he doing to push this issue?                                                                                                                     - Mike

- He just said that Medicaid needs to be reformed. He said that when states run into trouble, they will have to cut Medicaid. But the GOP plan is to cut Medicaid funding from the federal gov't through per capita caps. How does Rep. Dent suggest "reforming" Medicaid so states don't starve?                                                                                                          -Robin

- How do the proposed tax cuts for the very wealthy and insurance executives help to improve healthcare in the United States and to generally make insurance more accessible and affordable?    - Brent, Annville

- I was interested in Congressmen Dents opinion on why there are some republicans who are supportive of the American Healthcare act when there are almost 600 billion dollars in tax breaks for a small group of top earners. I find it hard to believe that congressman truly believe that during a time of economic stagnation and income disparity that funneling 600 billion to the top will somehow be in the interest working people. To go Beyond the usual jargon of job creators need even more money Isn't this about something more, such as  some republicans wanting to toss their donors a bone?                                                   - Matt, Fairview Township 

-  If the CBO finds that millions will lose healthcare coverage under the new replacement/repeal bill that was just introduced will you still stand behind the plan despite the promise that "everyone would be covered?                                                                                                                - Tia, Wormleysburg

- I always understood that you have to owe tax in order to have a tax credit.  So for those who need health care may not be able to recoup because they don't make enough to receive the tax credit.                                                                                                                          - Patricia, York

- On the one hand, Congressman Dent says that parts of the ACA can be kept and parts need to be fixed, and on the other, that the ACA is "broken," a common refrain among republicans. It is not broken for me, my husband and I have heath care because of it. Isn't he speaking out of both sides of his mouth?                                                                                                                                        - Diane

on Sunrise Atlantic Pipeline:

The parent co Williams Investors has been fined over and over again for problem issues, WHY do we want them?                                                                                                         - Laura, Lewisburg

- Why is Marie saying these pipelines act like superhighways then are distributed by local lines. Texas Eastern Pipeline came through Perry County 60 years ago and still no gas in Perry. The line is within 2 miles of the Susquenita and West Perry School Complexes, and gas doesn't run to either of them.                                                                                                            - Rich

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