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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kind introduces two bills in Congress to help with economy, health care

WASHINGTON D. C. - U.S. Rep. Ron Kind introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently remove Medicare’s cap on physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Repealing the arbitrary and dated cap will ensure Wisconsin seniors receive the care that they need at an affordable cost.

“Thousands of Wisconsin seniors use physical, occupational, and speech therapy to continue living their lives to the fullest. However, Medicare currently puts a cap on how much money they will cover for these programs, which places an arbitrary and unnecessary burden on many Wisconsin seniors. This bill would get rid of the cap and give our seniors the quality care they deserve,” said Rep. Kind.

Under the current rule the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services caps the amount covered by Medicare at $1,980 for physical therapy (PT) and speech-language pathology services (SLP) combined and $1,980 for occupational therapy (OT) services.

Congressman Kind also, along with Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH), introduced the Investing in Opportunity Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill that creates an incentive for entrepreneurs and businesses to invest in communities, like many across Wisconsin, that have been left behind in the economic recovery. 
“Many Wisconsinites feel that over the past decade economic growth has focused on the East Coast and the West Coat and left the Heartland behind. It is time we take steps to fix this problem. By providing increased investment for Wisconsin communities the Investing in Opportunity Act levels the playing field for our local communities and helps create good-paying jobs where we need them the most,” said Rep. Kind.
According to the EIG Index, 14% of people in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District are living below the poverty line, 9% do not hold a high school degree, and 38% of adults (age 16+) are not working. The areas with the most room for growth in the district include: Readstown, Adams, Merrillan, Friendship and Bagley. 
The Investing in Opportunity Act of 2017 opens the door to private capital in the following ways:
       Removes a barrier to investment through a temporary capital gains deferral in exchange for reinvesting in distressed communities
       Encourages investors from across the nation to pool resources through newly-created “Opportunity Funds” -- established specifically for making investments in opportunity zones
       Concentrates capital by establishing “Opportunity Zones” -- geographically targeted low-income areas that will be designated by governors
       Provides incentives for investors to make long-term commitments to these communities.


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