By LOU WILIN
Democrat Janet Garrett is challenging Republican Jim Jordan’s bid for re-election to represent Ohio’s 4th Congressional District, which includes Seneca and Allen counties.
Garrett supports a broadened government role — “Medicare for all” — in health care coverage.
“I don’t think the Affordable Care Act went anywhere near far enough, because we are the only industrialized country that doesn’t have health care for all of our citizens, and that’s not right,” she said.
She likes a Medicare-for-all proposal which would cover even more than Medicare, including “vision, hearing, dental, mental health, nursing homes, everything that has to do with health,” Garrett said.
Jordan favors market-based approaches to health care and would vote to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, which he calls Obamacare.
“The Democrats gave us Obamacare, and everything that we were told about Obamacare was false,” Jordan said. “The president (Barack Obama) said if you like your plan, you can keep it. The president said if you like your doctor, you can keep it. Both false.”
“We were told that premiums would decline on average $2,500. We were told that the website was going to work. We were told that the website was secure. We were told that these co-ops that they created were going to be wonderful. Every single one of them now has went bankrupt,” he said. “Everything we were told about Obamacare turned out to be false, and yet somehow it’s Republicans’ fault that premiums have gone up.”
Jordan wants to “bring back real insurance.” He said he favors a system that lets patients choose the insurance that fits their needs.
“If you go to a patient-centered model versus a government-centered model, you’re going to get lower cost and better care,” Jordan said.
Garrett said she would protect Social Security as a U.S. representative. If Republicans keep majorities in the House and Senate, Jordan and other Republicans will vote to cut Social Security, she said.
“They passed that terrible tax bill last December, and they added a trillion and a half dollars to our national debt, and now they are looking around for how they can pay for it and one of the things they are looking at is raiding Social Security,” Garrett said.
It would be a very unfair move, she said.
“There are millions of people in this country who have paid into Social Security their whole life, thinking that they were going to get their money back,” she said. “It’s not a freebie, and it’s not a bank account that the Republicans can just raid whenever they want to pay for something else or get more money to the rich.”
Jordan said all of Garrett’s accusations are false.
Then he went on offense.
“What Democrats are going to do if they take control is they are going to try to raise people’s taxes. They are going to work to abolish (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and have an open border,” he said. “They’re going to try to impeach our president — impeach our president after the phenomenal 20 months in office that he has had, and the great things that have happened in our country because of his leadership. That is what is going to happen.”
Jordan is running on President Donald Trump’s record and the Republican-controlled Congress’ support of him.
He said voting for the Trump tax cuts last December was the right move for the economy. The unemployment rate is lower than in decades and the economy is growing, he said.
The tax cuts are not to blame for the growing national debt, Jordan said.
“Letting people keep more of their own money benefits people. It’s their money,” he said. “The deficits and debt aren’t because we’re letting people keep more of their money. It’s because Washington is spending too much. It’s not a taxing problem. It’s a spending problem, plain and simple.”
Separately, Jordan wants to build the border security wall and to disallow sanctuary cities where illegal immigrants can elude detention.
Garrett would like to undo the Trump tax cuts approved last year.
“We’ve got to revisit the tax structure and require the rich to pay their fair share,” she said.
Most of the tax cuts went to the rich, and a very small amount went to the middle class, Garrett said.
She also would like to upgrade roads, bridges and schools and to provide higher-speed internet to all rural areas. In addition to addressing the infrastructure needs, it would spur good-paying middle class jobs, Garrett said.
A retired teacher, Garrett wants to reduce the standardized testing in schools.
“Our educational system has been taken over by the testing industry. The only good that it’s doing is giving profits to the test industry,” she said. “It’s really severely hurting our kids and stressing our kids and stressing our teachers unnecessarily. We should be teaching our kids creativity, problem solving and above all, a love of learning. All of that testing is really hurting all of that.”
Garrett, 65, of Oberlin, is a retired teacher who worked 35 years. She served on the executive council of her teachers union for 20 years, serving in various offices including president. She was a Peace Corps volunteer.
Jordan, 54, is in his sixth term representing the 4th District. He was a state senator from 2001 through 2006. He served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1995 through 2001.
The 4th District includes Seneca, Allen, Auglaize, Crawford, Sandusky and all or part of nine other counties. House members serve two-year terms and are paid $174,000 per year.
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