Congressional candidates spar over healthcare | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Congressional candidates spar over healthcare

Jeff Munson / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Fourth Congressional district candidate Charlie Brown has signed on to a Children’s Defense Council pledge to fight for healthcare reform that ensures access to affordable coverage for every child and every pregnant woman in the United States.

More than 50 candidates for Congress, from across the political spectrum, have already signed onto the CDC’s pledge. The fourth district includes the Lake Tahoe portion of El Dorado and Placer counties.

But a spokesman for Tom McClintock, Brown’s challenger in the Congressional race, said Brown supports “an untested government-run scheme.”

Brown says he is committed to healthcare issues and reform.

“Rising healthcare costs are hurting families and businesses across America,” Brown said in a press statement. “If we want to address the drain of growing healthcare costs on our economy and our family budgets, we have to focus on prevention. And we can do that by ensuring all children and pregnant women have access to affordable coverage which includes comprehensive benefits.”

McClintock spokesman Bill George says health care reform costs too much.

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With Congress “Having just signed a blank check to give $733 billion in taxpayer money to Wall Street in a bill lined with pork, it’s no surprise Charlie has signed another pledge to flush away billions more in an untested government-run scheme,” George said. “Just like he signed T. Boone Pickens’ plan to give billions to energy companies. Of course, Charlie never talks about two things: how much it costs and who is accountable.”

The Brown campaign notes that McClintock has repeatedly voted against legislation aimed at prevention of disease and improving healthcare services.

George rejects the notion, instead calling for tax refunds to those who need medical attention.

“Every child can be covered with insurance if we gave the parents a refundable tax credit to purchase their own insurance plans for their families,” George said. “We should not depend on the government to provide everything to these families. They should be given the freedom to purchase their own healthcare plan, pick their own physicians and meet their own families’ needs.”

The Brown compaign contends McClintock has voted against improving access to healthcare for low income children and their families, against routine coverage for children with cancer, against requiring insurers to cover checkups and vaccinations for children, against requiring insurers to cover annual cervical cancer tests for women and against prescription drug coverage for seniors.

“Tom McClintock gets free healthcare, a free car, free gas, and tax free per diems he’s not entitled to, yet has voted to restrict the ability of Californians to see a doctor of their choice and fought against helping our most vulnerable citizens access meaningful healthcare coverage,” said Brown, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. “His record of inaction has not only helped drive up the cost of healthcare for every Californian, it’s illustrative of a career politician hypocrite who would rather serve himself than solve problems.”

The Brown campaign points to legislation earlier this year that McClintock authored that would have made it easier for health insurance companies to deny the health claims of Californians on the basis of pre-existing condition. In fact, SB 1669 would have extended the period that insurers could look back in your medical history from 12 months to 10 years.

“Tom McClintock’s idea of healthcare reform is writing a law that says if you have a medical problem, you can’t get healthcare coverage,” Brown said.

George called Brown’s assertion “flat wrong.”

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