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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK

Mike Kelly

U.S. Rep. Rep.

Mike Kelly, R-3rd, is backing Virginia's effort to derail the new federal health care law, also known as ObamaCare.Kelly, along with more than 35 other members of Congress, recently signed an amicus brief in support of the Virginia attorney general, who is challenging the constitutionality of a provision in the law requiring citizens to buy health insurance or pay a penaltyVirginia is among 28 states that have challenged the health care legislation in court.Kelly cited the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that estimated ObamaCare would cost $1.13 trillion between 2012 and 2021, or 8.6 percent more than what the Obama administration originally projected.The CBO also reported that the cost of health care insurance would rise by an additional $2,100 per American family beginning in 2016.“The American people were sold a bill of goods,” Kelly said, “and we're demanding a full refund.”———The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission recently voted to suspend the timeline for splitting the 814 area code in northwestern Pennsylvania, state Sen.

Mary Jo White, R-21st, said last week.The action came after a third-party area code relief planner, Neustar, concluded the new projected exhaust date for the 814 area code is the first quarter of 2015, not the first quarter of 2013, as was earlier calculated.Under the previous calculations, a new area code number was to be implemented in February 2012.White said, “... the commission will continue to move forward with consideration of an area code change, so it's important for affected residents and businesses to let their views be heard.”White joined multiple groups and citizens in filing a petition for reconsideration urging the PUC to adopt an “overlay” plan as an alternative to splitting 814.An overlay would cover the 814 area code with a new area code, rather than singling out northwestern Pennsylvania, while addressing the dwindling number of phone numbers in 814.The PUC will continue with its plans to gather evidence and will schedule technical hearings and additional public input hearings.Public input hearings will be announced later. For questions, consumers can contact the PUC's Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380.———The American Legion recently presented U.S. Rep.

Jason Altmire, D-4th, with a special award recognizing his support for America's veterans.Altmire is the first individual to receive this award from the American Legion, which is the nation's largest veterans service organization.During the presentation, American Legion officials praised the congressman's long-standing support for the organization's Housing for Homeless Veterans Corporation and his leadership in enacting laws to improve veterans' benefits.“I want to thank Congressman Altmire for taking action to ensure that our nation's veterans receive the support and respect they deserve,” said Tim Tetz, the American Legion's legislative director.