LIMA – U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, had two different events within 100 yards of each other Monday in Lima. While the vicinity of the two events was very close, their tenor could not have been further apart.
The first event saw the Lima-Allen County Chamber of Commerce present Jordan with the Spirit of Enterprise Award at the City Club for his pro-business voting record. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jordan had a 93 percent voting record consistent with chamber views.
“Having a 50 percent voting record is great, but 93 percent is excellent,” according to U.S. Chamber of Commerce Great Lakes Region congressional and public affairs senior manager Maggie Sheely.
While Jordan did take some questions at the Chamber event, he faced many more at a town hall event held at Veterans Memorial Civic Center. Organized by Allen & Hardin for Election Action and Democracy (AHEAD), the town hall gave citizens critical of Jordan’s political philosophy the chance to question him directly.
“There were a lot of stories that need to be told and a lot of people with serious concerns who would like to speak with him and haven’t had the chance,” event co-chair Beth Sutton-Ramspeck said. “We really wanted to encourage this opportunity.”
Jordan faced questions on a wide variety of issues, from block grant budget cuts to energy and environment policy to immigration. However, the largest block of questions centered on health care and insurance.
A Hardin County woman named Emily described how she and her husband are self-employed and receive insurance through the Affordable Care Act. While her husband has a genetic heart condition, her daughters are also at risk of developing issues. When asked about retaining health care coverage despite the higher risks for medical issues, Jordan answered that proposals being considered in the nation’s capital would maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions.
“But while also maintaining that, we also want to bring back affordable insurance for most of the population, as well,” he said.
Jordan also advocated for a model that would create what he called “invisible” high risk pools, where those at higher risk would still pay the same rate as other insurance holders, with subsidies making up the difference.
“That will be subsidized by the taxpayers,” he said. “We want premiums to come down for everybody.”
Jordan also advocated shopping for insurance across state lines as a way of bringing down premiums. Many audience members disagreed, instead maintaining that health care should be considered a basic human right with all citizens guaranteed access to quality care. Several members of the audience advocated going to a single-payer health care system to ensure universal access, akin to nations like Canada, Sweden and Norway.
Jordan continued to maintain his stance in favor of working through health insurance rather than government coverage, saying that is the best way to ensure quality care.
“We want the best health system in the world and to ensure affordable insurance, plain and simple,” he said.