2007.08.23: August 23, 2007: Headlines: Farr: Figures: COS - Dominican Republic: Politics: Congress: Election2008 - Dodd: Hollister Free Lance: Sam Farr endorses Chris Dodd

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Colombia: Special Report: Sam Farr: Sam Farr: Newest Stories: 2007.08.23: August 23, 2007: Headlines: Farr: Figures: COS - Dominican Republic: Politics: Congress: Election2008 - Dodd: Hollister Free Lance: Sam Farr endorses Chris Dodd

By Admin1 (admin) (adsl-70-240-136-52.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 2:37 pm: Edit Post

Sam Farr endorses Chris Dodd

Sam Farr endorses Chris Dodd

"I endorsed Chris Dodd. I endorsed Chris Dodd because he's a friend. He was a Peace Corps volunteer when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. And I said, "Chris, I'll endorse you because you're not going to win and as long as you keep talking about the Peace Corps," because I'm trying to get a lot more money to increase the size of the Peace Corps."

Sam Farr endorses Chris Dodd

Congressman Farr Talks Medicare and More

1:52 PM
By Anthony Ha

Hollister - Democrat Sam Farr, San Benito County's longtime congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives, stopped by Hollister on Wednesday in the middle of a tour of his district, which also includes Monterey County and parts of Santa Cruz County.

The Free Lance spoke to Farr about health care, the War in Iraq and the upcoming presidential race.

Farr has been taking flak from some local doctors for a recently passed medical bill that could leave San Benito County with lower Medicare payments than surrounding counties. But Farr said that without his legislation, local Medicare payments actually fall. And he added that his efforts to pressure the federal government to incorporate new data into its Medicare calculations could actually boost San Benito's reimbursements.

The Free Lance: One of the issues that we've written about is the Medicare bill that you were involved with.

Sam Farr: My language is San Benito's best hope not to have slippage.

FL: I think the concern here, though, is outside the numbers and everything -

Farr: The concern here, and rightfully so, is not that Medicare payments aren't as high as they want them to be; it's that Blue Cross screwed this county and they have no other option. You can't go to another insurer. Blue Cross owns San Benito County.

The bottom line here is, all we're trying to do is get the federal government to live up to their own rules. And if they live up to their own rules under the data they have, this old data, as a fallout it will help Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. If they live by their own rules and use this new data that's been collected, it will help San Benito County. It will help all three.

FL: And by help, are you saying best-case scenario, we would stay the same?

Farr: Best-case scenario, you'll go up.

FL: Regardless of a formula or regardless population numbers, you just see the raw fact that reimbursement rates could go up around us while ours stay flat, so the natural reaction is, we're screwed.

Farr: Both sides are right. But there's no way to fix it. It's sort of like health care costs. The health care stuff is a mess. I think that this is all part and parcel of a huge picture that America needs to get engaged in politically is, how do you have a universal health care system?

We've delegated all of the management of health care to insurance companies. We've not dealt with the cost of that, and it's huge. It's going to bankrupt this country. So the only way you can have universal health care is to cut this escalating cost and provide broader coverage. Broader coverage alone, which everybody wants, is going to cost too much. What we have to do is go in and cut out the middle man. The middle man is the insurance companies.

FL: What has to happen for universal health care to become a reality?

Farr: The anti-single payer and government role in this is to call it socialized medicine. That sticks with people. Hillary Clinton tried to bring all parties in play and come up with all the different options. She got shot down by everybody.

But, I think, almost universally, the medical providers have come around and moved to the Democratic message. I think they're beginning to see that conservative politics is lined up with insurance and big business, not the providers.

FL: It's almost like a swear word in the Republican party, when you talk about universal health care.

Farr: That is it. How do you spin this?

I think this is going to be the battle for the president of the United States and I think how we as an individual, as a voter, decide on that will be whether you elect a Democrat or a Republican.

FL: Focusing over to the presidential race, are there any candidates that you're going to be endorsing?

Farr: I endorsed Chris Dodd. I endorsed Chris Dodd because he's a friend. He was a Peace Corps volunteer when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. And I said, "Chris, I'll endorse you because you're not going to win and as long as you keep talking about the Peace Corps," because I'm trying to get a lot more money to increase the size of the Peace Corps.

Anna Eshoo has endorsed Chris Dodd. It's like politics and family, you help your friends.

FL: Moving to another big issue, I know you're for withdrawal from Iraq, but given the current political reality, what do you see happening?

Farr: My instinct says troops will start coming home in December. We did not put any money for the Iraq War or Afghan War in the defense budget. The president's got to come back and ask for more money just for that. In the meantime, we write conditionalities into it, because we have to give him money.

I think the administration will start pulling out troops. Because they're going to get the Petraeus report. It's not going to be good. You don't even have to read between the lines.

FL: So our staying there is just making it worse?

Farr: I think our staying there isn't motivating anybody to do anything.

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Headlines: August, 2007; RPCV Chris Dodd (Dominican Republic); RPCV Sam Farr (Colombia); Figures; Peace Corps Dominican Republic; Directory of Dominican Republic RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Dominican Republic RPCVs; Politics; Congress; Congress; Connecticut

When this story was posted in August 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Hollister Free Lance

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Farr; Figures; COS - Dominican Republic; Politics; Congress; Election2008 - Dodd


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