Yesterday, Democrat Kathy Hochul won a closely watched special congressional election in a heavily Republican district in western New York. Why should Sunshine State voters care? Democrats are spinning Hochul's upset victory as evidence that voters -- even those in traditionally GOP areas -- don't like the Republican plan to overhaul Medicare.
That's interesting, because guess who voted for the Medicare overhaul, and stumped for Hochul's unsuccessful Republican opponent? South Florida's own Rep. Allen West.
In a recent interview with New Times, West defended the Medicare overhaul, which would drastically change the government-run program to a system in which seniors would buy
private insurance, and Medicare would subsidize the cost. According to the Congressional Budget Office, seniors would have to pay thousands of dollars more for their health care under this plan.
"We're talking about the patient being able to have people compete for their business. We're talking about going from a very inefficient, fee-for-service program to a defined contribution program," West said of the proposed plan.
Last week, West could be heard in robo-calls in New York endorsing the Republican candidate in the 26th district, State Assemblywoman Jane Corwin.
"This is Lieutenant Colonel and Congressman Allen West with a critical Tea Party alert," he said. "Jane Corwin is the only endorsed Tea Party candidate and the only candidate who will stand up to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and their out-of-control spending agenda. Our national debt is out of control. And it's simple -- we need Jane Corwin to be a part of the majority in the House of Representatives to bring fiscal discipline back to Washington, D.C.
"Furthermore, Jane's opponents have only one goal, and that is to scare seniors. Jane will be a fighter on Capitol Hill to preserve Medicare for our future generations."
Hmmm, preserving Medicare? That argument didn't work so well for West during his town hall meetings. and it certainly didn't get Corwin elected. It will be interesting to see how it works for West in 2012.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.