Sunday, June 24 , 2018, 1:58 pm | Overcast 66º



Carpinteria Community Gathers for Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast

Rep. Salud Carbajal and Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Chief Ray Navarro talk about local business, health care and infrastructure

Dozens of business leaders gather for the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Breakfast on Friday at Rincon Beach Club. Click to view larger
Dozens of business leaders gather for the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Breakfast on Friday at Rincon Beach Club. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

More than 50 business leaders gathered last week at the Rincon Beach Club in Carpinteria for an information-packed event designed to brief the community on legislative updates and business trends.

Congressman Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, spoke Friday at the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce's legislative breakfast about health insurance, transportation infrastructure and locally-owned businesses.

Carbajal said 20 million Americans had gained health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act since 2010, with more than 100,000 Central Coast residents having Covered California or Medicaid, which is called Medi-Cal in California. 

“I agree the Affordable Care Act needs some fixing,” he said. “We need to bring down premium costs, prescription drug costs are too high, and small businesses need additional relief. We need to increase the availability of medical providers.” 

Carbajal said he is focusing his efforts on creating better health care.

He is co-sponsoring H.R. 1307, which aims to create a public option under the ACA and provide competition between private industry to bring down healthcare insurance costs.

He is also co-sponsoring H.R. 3258, a bill that permanently funds and expands access to Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies, and H.R. 173, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage.

Carbajal said he will advocate for infrastructure in Congress and support bipartisan legislation to help small businesses, startups and large global organizations in the area, including the Small Business Investment Opportunity Act of 2017, Microloan Modernization Act of 2017 and the Investing in Main Street Act of 2017.

“It’s the small businesses that are the engine for our national and local economy,” Carbajal said. “I believe the Central Coast is a leader in supporting our businesses while respecting the beauty of our coastline and unique environment.”

The transition from Santa Barbara County’s First District Supervisor to representing California's 24th congressional district has been “quite the change,” he said.

“Building new relationships in Congress is something I strive for.” 

The event also featured Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District Chief Ray Navarro, who spoke about the evolving fire service with community paramedicine.  

Congressman Salud Carbajal speaks at the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Breakfast on Friday. Click to view larger
Congressman Salud Carbajal speaks at the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Breakfast on Friday. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

“Locally, all of the fire chiefs have come together to help support a new emergency medical services system,” Navarro said. 

Navarro said fire officials, the Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services, city and county elected officials are working together.

“We are looking at designs that will help bring care to the folks that maybe don’t need to have an emergency transportation to the hospital,” Navarro said.

“There might be another pathway to navigate those patients or direct them to an alternative destination.” 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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