Critz Votes Against Obamacare Repeal

Rep. Mark Critz voted against repealing Obamacare, a move his opponent Keith Rothfus jumped on today over Twitter.

In the ongoing rhetorical war over Medicare in the race for PA-12, Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria) fired another shot by voting against a House motion repealing the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Critics of the law say that it cuts $500 billion from Medicare, whereas its proponents say that the cuts, implemented over the course of 10 years, are actually reforms.

According to PolitiFact, the law actually increases Medicare spending and coverage in a few cases, but that the cuts are actually provisions “designed to reduce future growth in Medicare spending, to encourage the program to operate more efficiently and to improve the delivery and quality of care, in ways including reducing hospital re-admissions.”

Under Obamacare, Medicare spending will still increase, but at a slowed rate that will add up to $500 billion in savings over the course of a decade.

Following other PA House members who voted along party lines with the bill, Critz affirmed his support of the controversial legislation. In a press release from his campaign, Critz said although he wasn’t a supporter of the law in its totality, certain components of it are crucial for patients’ rights.

“As I’ve said before, it would be wrong and irresponsible for Congress to go backwards and allow insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, to kick young adults off their parents’ health insurance plans or to re-open the ‘doughnut hole’ which will force seniors to pay more for medicine, Critz said.

The doughnut hole is the coverage gap Medicare Part D enrollees have when they purchase prescription drugs through the program.

Critz’s general election opponent Keith Rothfus seized on the incumbent Congressman’s words to portray him as an enemy of Medicare in a district with some of the highest levels of participation in Medicare out of any in the U.S.

Earlier today, Critz and Rothfus brought their battle to Twitter, where the two men exchanged glancing rhetorical blows in 140 characters or fewer.

“[Critz] voted for the twenty-first time to protect Obamacare, raid Medicare of $500 billion, put seniors health at risk [and] raise middle class taxes,” Rothfus said over Twitter.

Critz quickly responded, saying he didn’t support the portions of the bill mentioned in Rothfus’ Tweet, and instead supported only the law’s popular components.

“[Rothfus’s] problem with the truth: I voted to repeal [the individual] mandate, [medical] device tax, oppose [Independent Payment Advisory Board,] but won’t allow insurance companies to charge women more than men,” Critz said.

“[Rothfus] may think seniors should pay more for medicine, and kids shouldn’t be covered on parents’ plan, but I do.”

For Rothfus, Critz’s vote against the repeal of Obamacare provides him an opportunity to criticize the incumbent Congressman of trying to have it both ways on the bill – a valid point considering Critz’s checkered past with Obamacare.

During his primary election campaign against Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Allegheny) for the newly redrawn PA-12, Critz boasted of having voted against repealing the law less frequently than Altmire. But during his 2010 campaign, Critz ran as a Democrat opposing Obamacare and voted to repeal portions of the law 21 times.

But as a supporter of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plans, Rothfus is in a precarious position, since Ryan’s budget slashes $500 billion from Medicare, a number equal to that of Obamacare.

In addition, under Ryan’s budget plan, Medicare would transform into a voucher system, a move largely opposed by senior citizens.

13 Responses

  1. OBAMA is mixed how could he hate whites when he is on both side of the fence? This is not a race issue. True I know everyone has their Opinion and it is a freedon of speech , but some people say some foolish things.

  2. WHEN IS KEITH THE CANDIDATE GOING TO TALK ABOUT HIS KATRINA FEMA SERVICE AND HIS SERVICE TO FAITH HEALER PAT ROBERTSON? EVERYONE KNOWS THE RYAN IS NOT A GOOD DEAL FOR SENIORS! RYAN VOUCHERS WILL FORCE THEM TO PAY MORE FOR HEALTHCARE OUT OF THEIR SAVINGS WHILE NOT REDUCING THE UNDERLYING COST OF THE SERVICES!

  3. It is fallacious to claim that the Ryan plan simply defunds Medicare. It restructures it. Claiming that the Ryan plan defunds Medicare implies that Medicare will be lost. That is nothing more than a scare tactic. The real way to lose Medicare is to keep going on the track that we’ve been on in which we cannot afford Medicare. The Ryan plan partially privatizes Medicare in order to make the program more cost effective.

  4. It’s obvious that Critz has been trying to hide that he has been an overall supporter of Obamacare. While he might not like certain portions of the bill, he still voted in support of the overall bill. Why would you vote in support of something that’s so awful? I think Obama made a perfect illustration as to why healthcare should remain in the private sector, “I mean, if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It’s the post office that’s always having problems.” Because the bureaucracy of the government is so amazingly inefficient!

  5. I am not 55 yet. Under the Ryan budget when I become eligible for Medicare, I am screwed.

  6. In all fairness, Ryan’s budget plan doesn’t affect anyone’s Medicare who are over the age of 55 so retirees receiving benefits would continue unchanged.

  7. Come on Mike: We can do better than this! Don’t make the PA12th contest about race! Preserving medicare for needy Middle Class seniors is a real issue. Stop with the subliminal cross burnings! We have yet to see an affordable healtcare plan from Keith the Candidate Rothfus that former employee of faith healer Pat Robertson.

  8. Obama hates white people end of story.. You white people that voted for him need to think about your kids and grandkids. Obama has done everything for blacks and could careless about white kids..Have you ever heard of a white person robbing a black person? but i have heard everyday of blacks robbing whites.. Why is it when a white does something to a black its on the news, but when a black does something to a white it doesnt even make the news?

  9. Obamacare doesn’t cut Medicare, but reduces the rate of increase of Medicare. It doesn’t cut services, but works to find efficiencies.

    Compare that to the Ryan plan which is an actual cut of $500 billion and replaces Medicare with the equivalent of a discount store coupon that I can put towards buying healthcare from an exchange if any private insurers want to take part.

    I am curious. Can I lose my Ryan private Medicare insurance if I have any pre-existing conditions like being old?

  10. Perhaps Millionare Keith should wander from his Sewickley enclave and visit the poor areas of the 12th. Critz in a landslide.

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