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Congressional committee to meet in Gastonia about health care law

Five North Carolina residents, including two insurance agents, a roofing contractor and the director of a nonprofit agency, are scheduled to testify Friday at a U.S. congressional hearing in Gastonia about the Affordable Care Act.

The local hearing is the first in a series of field hearings for members of Congress who want to take a closer look at how the new health care law is affecting people at home.

U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a critic of the Obama administration, will bring the full House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to the Gaston County Courthouse, 325 North Marietta St., for the hearing starting at 10 a.m.

Witnesses scheduled so far include Dan Waters, president of Dan Waters & Associates, a Hickory insurance agency; Joel Long, president of GSM Services, a commercial roofing and HVAC company in Gastonia; Tav Gauss, CEO of Action Group Human Resources Solutions, a staffing firm with multiple offices statewide; Sherry Overby, director of the Belmont Crisis Pregnancy Center, and Jason Falls, owner of Falls Insurance in Kings Mountain.

A staffer in Issa’s office said four Republicans from the committee, including Issa, are expected to attend. It’s unclear if any Democrats will be there. She also said witnesses have been vetted by committee staff, and people from the audience will not be invited to speak.

The hearing, entitled “Obamacare Implementation: Sticker Shock of Increased Premiums for Health Care Coverage,” will examine a variety of issues about implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the cost of increased premiums for insurance and reduced choice for Americans.

Garloch: 704-358-5078
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