U.S. Congressman Jim Marshall is hosting another town hall meeting at 10 a.m., Saturday at the Alcovy High School Auditorium. Marshall will take questions about the economy, health care and energy prices.
Marshall’s Communications Director Doug Moore said the congressman wanted to have another meeting in Covington for people who were unable to attend the previous one. Moore said this will be the sixth town hall meeting Marshall has held in Newton County in the past two years.
Health care will likely be the main topic in light of the House of Representatives passing a version of health care reform bill on Nov. 7. The bill was narrowly passed by a 220 to 215 vote, with four of Georgia’s 13 representatives voting in favor of the bill. Marshall was one of two Georgia Democrats who voted against the bill.
Moore said the town hall was scheduled before the vote took place, but he said this is an opportunity to continue the health care dialogue.
"This discussion as a whole is not over. The Senate still hasn’t acted, and we don’t know what the final bill will look like once the Senate passes something and both chambers begin a conference committee," Moore said.
According to the Associated Press the bill would:
• Require most Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fine.
• Expand health care coverage to 36 million more people over the next decade.
• Require employers with payrolls above $500,000 to provide insurance to their employees or pay a fine.
• Prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions.
• End premium disparities between men and women.
• Impose a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge on income above $500,000 annually for individuals and above $1 million annually for households.
• Establish a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers beginning in 2013.
• Cost $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
• Cut Medicare spending by more than $400 billion over 10 years.
The meeting is scheduled to last until noon.