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Rohrabacher and Rouda say their piece in advance of election day

Rohrabacher and Rouda say their piece in advance of election day
“Inside OC” with Rick Reiff, center, hosted a debate recently between Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), right, and Harley Rouda, his Democratic challenger, left, in Santa Ana. (Photo by Sam Gangwer / CNG)

I am committed to combating airplane noise

My old boss, President Reagan, had a plaque on his Oval Office desk that read: “There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” For 30 years, I have traveled back and forth to Washington, realizing many of my colleagues don’t have that mindset.

Not seeking recognition elicits criticism during elections, and this campaign is a prime example. My opponent claims I haven’t authored enough enacted legislation. That’s his measure of effectiveness. I believe it is your impact, not the number of bills with your name, that counts.

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I’m proud of what I have accomplished for my district and America, having spent more than forty years of my life serving our nation in the Reagan White House and Congress. My opponent thinks having your name on bills is the only way to do things in Washington. If he is elected, his fixation on that will mirror the history of his life; service to himself.

He authored an op-ed in this publication criticizing my handling of airport-related noise over Orange County, which has become substantially worse in recent years. The problem, he seems to understand, is that additional noise can be traced to the Federal Aviation Administration’s revamp of U.S national airspace, which consolidated airline traffic routes. Many who live under those flight paths now find the sound unbearable.

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When an opportunity presented itself, I took action and offered amendments to the the FAA re-authorization bill. One amendment, which I crafted in consultation with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, appeared ready to pass. Leadership from both parties had signed off on the amendment, which would have required flights transitioning from ocean to land fly as high as possible, subject to safety restraints, to minimize flight at low altitude over communities. At the last minute, the air traffic controllers union opposed the amendment because its priority is not the people who live under flight paths.

Sometimes, when you challenge special interests in Washington, you lose. But I don’t give up. I introduced the No Noise Act, which would require the FAA to prioritize you over the efficiency of airlines when it designs flight paths. I will keep battling. I don’t fear failure when trying to do what is right.

Can anyone say the same about Harley Rouda? He supported the radical left’s priorities during the Democratic primary, like Medicare for All, including illegal immigrants. That is just one of many things he promised the progressive Democrats of America. He is now running from those positions, because he knows they are out of step with our district. You deserve better than a self-serving credit-seeker who will say whatever it takes for power.

I am grateful to represent you, and humbly ask to do so for another term. We still have much to accomplish together, and I want to continue fighting for freedom on your behalf and having fun doing it. We may not always agree, but you’ll always know where I stand. I will fight for you, even when special interests block our progress. I don’t care about having my name on legislation. I care about getting things done. After all, this isn’t about me. It’s about you and what’s best for America.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Costa Mesa

The writer is a Republican representing the 48th District in Congress.

Stop playing politics with seniors’ healthcare

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently blamed the rising federal debt on Social Security and Medicare, stating on the record that Congress should target these programs for cuts to address the deficit. While McConnell’s statement made waves in the media, his admission was anything but surprising.

We already knew that House Republicans plan to cut $537 billion from Medicare and $1.5 trillion from Medicaid and Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credits over the next 10 years, according to their 2019 budget proposal. We already knew that House Republicans, led by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), have also been voting — year after year after year — to eviscerate Social Security and Medicare by billions and billions of dollars.

Clearly, Rohrabacher and extreme Republicans in Congress are more interested in advancing cynical political objectives than in passing policies that help everyday Americans — in this case, our nation’s seniors and retirees.

Blaming bedrocks of American society like Social Security and Medicare for rising debt is especially rich, considering that the GOP’s own tax cut targeted mostly to corporations and the wealthy is projected to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years. These programs have been the cornerstones of American retirement security for a very long time, and drastic budget cuts would come with devastating consequences for seniors.

Medicare would be changed into a voucher system, causing an increase in out-of-pocket costs for seniors, and the Medicare eligibility age would be raised from 65 to 67. Also, Medicaid would be stripped back significantly, making it more difficult for many low-income seniors to afford healthcare.

In addition, the budget plan would repeal the ACA and eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, allowing insurance companies to refuse or charge more to patients with health issues like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis or cancer. The plan would also institute an “age tax,” allowing insurance companies to charge patients aged 50 to 64 five times what they charge younger patients.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that, while working to roll back the ACA and seniors’ healthcare programs, Congress has ignored the prescription drug crisis. Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and seniors bear the brunt of these soaring costs.

It’s time for our Congress to finally stand up for America’s seniors and retirees. This is one of the reasons why I am running for Congress this November: to ensure that our seniors are guaranteed the level of dignity and well-being that they deserve in retirement.

First, we must fight to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, because these programs are vitally important to our seniors’ health and well-being.

Second, we need to regulate and reform the pharmaceutical drug industry to protect seniors from outrageous drug prices. Congress should follow California’s leadership in pursuing greater transparency in drug pricing. In addition, we need to take the shackles off Medicare by allowing it to negotiate lower prices with drug companies.

Lastly, we must expand and improve on the Affordable Care Act while pursuing Medicare for All as a long-term solution. Medicare for All would bring the U.S. up to date with the standards of most advanced countries by guaranteeing healthcare coverage as a right for every American.

Harley Rouda

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Laguna Beach

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The writer is a Democrat running for the 48th Congressional District seat.

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