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.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
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.