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Published: 1/28/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

Toledo in tow at State of the Union address

Area congressmen Latta and Kaptur bring ideological guests.

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

Toledo’s two congressmen brought guests to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight to help make ideological points.

Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) brought along Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, owner of a Findlay trucking company, to personalize Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Ms. Brumbaugh, 51, said her company, Garner Transportatiion Group, insures about 85 people. She said her current employee health plan, which went up 17 percent, will renew May 1 and she was told to expect increases of 15 to 20 percent when that happens.

She blamed additional fees and taxes, as well as uncertainty, for the increases.

“We need to scrap it and start over,” said Ms. Brumbaugh, calling for a bipartisan approach.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) brought along Lorain teacher Manuel “Manny” Santana, a special ed teacher at Clearview High School.

The reasons: he took advantage of unemployment benefits to go back to school and earn an education degree from Ashland University.

“When we invest in our people, we reap the dividends for many years to come,” Miss Kaptur said. “Manny Santana’s experience illustrates the importance of extending employment insurance benefits, especially in a high-unemployment state such as Ohio. It’s all about getting people into good jobs.”

Miss Kaptur's district includes most of Toledo and stretches east into Cuyahoga County. Mr. Latta's district includes parts of South and West Toledo and most of the counties in the northwest corner of Ohio.

Michigan U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R., Tipton) also used his guest to highlight his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

He said his guest, Julia Boonstra of Dexter, has been fighting leukemia and lost her coverage because of ObamaCare.

Ms. Boonstra was notified that she would lose the insurance plan that cost $1,100 a month with low out-of-pocket costs. She enrolled in a new plan with premiums of $571 a month but higher out-of-pocket costs.

“I just want my plan back, I really do,” said Ms. Boonstra, 49, a mother of two, according to The Detroit News. “It was extremely expensive and there are things as far as oral chemotherapies that need to be done to reduce the cost. ... But I was covered and I made having a great health plan a priority for me and that was taken away from me.”

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.



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