Speaker Ryan (he told me to call him Paul when I addressed him as Mr. Speaker) is a great guy and about as down to earth as anyone. He is a big hunter (as am I) and we talked about bow hunting deer. He told me he harvested two does last year in Wisconsin with his bow and his oldest son harvested a really nice buck last fall. He told me he is looking forward to spending more time hunting with his two sons when he retires from Congress. He said he has been in Congress 20 years, but his oldest son
will be a sophomore in High School next fall and his younger son will be in the 8th grade, so he wants to have the opportunity to spend more time with his boys before they grow up. In his remarks, the Speaker spoke about how the House got more accomplished this Congress than in many previous Congresses and expressed frustration they do not have a big enough Republican majority in the Senate to get some of the bills the House passed (like the Obamacare repeal and replace bill the House passed) into law. He said Indiana really needs to support Mike Braun to give Republicans another seat in the Senate. He also spoke about the two different kinds of members of Congress…….the “show horses” and the “work horses”. Show horses just spend the majority of their time getting media coverage and personal publicity, but work horses roll their sleeves up and work hard to get meaningful legislation passed without worrying about getting media publicity or personal recognition. He said Jim Banks is a work horse and spoke very highly of our Congressman.
I did not get an opportunity to speak with Jim Banks as he and the Speaker left as soon as we got our photo op, but I did have a nice conversation with Bank’s Chief of Staff, Matt Lahr, before they got there and Matt remembered me from our meeting with him in Washington DC at Capitol Conference. Matt asked me what was the number one problem I am seeing with health care and I told him I have been recently dealing recently with a 86 life self-funded client that got a letter from the IRS they owed $74,000 for two employees that fraudulently applied and received subsidized coverage under the federally facilitated exchange in 2015, although they declined employer coverage that met the ACA requirements. He asked me some specific questions about that situation and I also discussed the employer reporting legislation that NAHU recently asked our state association to endorse.
In any event, many thanks to HUPAC for all they do and letting us be able to participate in this event today. It was $1,000 well spent!