header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
61°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 25
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]
Clampitt fire


Commentary by Carole Lutness
| Monday, Dec 16, 2013

carolelutnessmugTroubled by a mailer received from Assemblyman Scott Wilk, members of the SCV Fair Elections Committee have filed a complaint against the Republican Caucus for their Covering Health Care California website (coveringhelthcareca.com), which the committee believes contains “distortions, lies and misinformation.”

The group reviewed the website and found factual errors and misleading statements which appear to be a deliberate attempt to discourage the public from participating in and supporting the Affordable Care Act.

Rather than directing the public to the official California ACA website, Covered California (coveredca.com), the Republican website promotes a negative, alarmist perspective that could confuse and dissuade people from signing up for the program.

For example, the Covering Health Care California (Republican Caucus) website states: “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in a March 2012 report that coverage expenses under the Affordable Care Act will cost the country a total of $1.76 trillion.”

Fact checking by the SCV Fair Election Committee found that the Congressional Budget Office actually projected that the ACA will lower both future deficits and Medicare spending, and that slower growth in health spending because of the ACA might boost jobs.

The committee found that rather than health-care spending increasing, it has hit a new low. Health care costs rose by only 1.3 percent per year from 2010 to 2013, according to a recent report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  That’s the lowest increase in a three-year period on record. White House officials cite the 2010 ACA as a main factor in lowering costs.

Additionally, the Republican website claims there will be cuts to Medicare provider rates to pay for other components of the Affordable Care Act such as expanding Medicaid (MediCAL) coverage to anyone with less than $16,000 yearly income. The site claims: “Medicare providers will see rate cuts nearing $200 billion over the next decade. These cuts could potentially result in the exodus of doctors from the Medicare system and force Medicare recipients to find new providers, possibly facing longer wait times for care as that pool of doctors shrinks.”

The SCV Fair Elections Committee found through the national fact-checking source Politifact, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2012: “Neither Obama nor his health care law literally cut a dollar amount from the Medicare program’s budget. … Rather, the health care law instituted a number of changes to try to bring down future health care costs in the program.”

What kind of spending reductions are we really talking about? They are mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries.

The actual nature of the cuts from the Affordable Care Act, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS.gov), are are:

*Reducing excessive Medicare payments to private insurers who operate in Medicare Advantage ($68 billion);

*Reforming provider payments, including improved productivity ($85 billion);

*Improving patient safety through the Partnership for Patients ($10 billion);

*Cracking down on fraud and abuse in the Medicare system and getting the best value for Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers for durable medical equipment ($7.8 billion);

*Additional provisions, including the net effect of expanded benefits, lowered payments for hospital acquired conditions, readmissions reductions, and adjustment to premium subsidies ($41 billion).

The Committee looked at Snopes, Pants on Fire, Fact Check, Wikipedia, numerous newspaper articles and other fact-checking sources and found scores of instances of distortions and misinformation on the Republican Caucus website.

Nearly 100 people have asked to be co-signers of the complaint. What concerns people is not just the misinformation on the Republican Caucus website, but also the spirit in which it portrays the ACA.

We know that Assemblyman Scot Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, and other Republican legislators used taxpayer money to send out the mailer about the website, and that the website itself may have been paid for by taxpayer money.

These legislators are sworn officers of our state government and, as such, we believe they should be upholding the law, not trying to undermine it.

The committee believes there may be violations that should be investigated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission and the Attorney General’s office.  Public money should not be used to further a political agenda.

This story has been widely publicized over the last few days. Many people are outraged by such blatant political, mean-spirited behavior by elected officials.  The committee believes this mailing, paid for by taxpayer money, and the website appear to represent a misuse of public funds, a deliberate attempt to mislead the public and a violation of the public oath of office which should be investigated and if appropriate, prosecuted by both the FPPC and the AG offices.

 

Carole Lutness is chair of the SCV Fair Elections Committee.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

6 Comments

  1. Debbie K says:

    Oh, yes, I feel confident in their findings, knowing the SCV Fair Elections Committee used Snopes and Wikipedia,and other fact-checking sources, to make their determinations! That’s not an investigation, any more so than using press releases would be for a news story. Seriously?

  2. Jeff F says:

    I agree.

    Wikipedia, as a definitive source of research, are you kidding me? Even a high school student knows better than that.

    I think its the SCV Election committee that needs to be investigated for incompetence.

    The part about debunking the Medicare cuts also makes me laugh. Looks like the GOP site is warning that hospitals and providers will leave the Medicare system due to the ACA’s rate cuts.

    The author then points out “What kind of spending reductions are we really talking about? They are mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries.”

    Isn’t that exactly what the site is saying?

  3. Nanette Meister says:

    Why should tax payers pay for a political view of republicans? Please do not reward lies or cheaters. People need affordable health insurance, it is the law of the land, sending people to a phony web site is plain wrong.

  4. Josh Heath says:

    Very sad. One party presents solutions, and the other manipulates them.

  5. Diana Shaw says:

    I,too, found Assemblyman Wilk’s mailer troublesome. Casting stones at the good people who are fact checking Wilk’s assertions is a misplaced use of energy, and certainly not constructive. Splitting hairs over the accuracy of Wikipedia is a distraction. I followed the link on the Assemblyman’s flyer to the Covering Healthcare California website. First I got confused, because this was obviously not a website dedicated to education about the new law, but rather a sophomoric, transparently and embarrassingly partisan treatment. Let’s face it, people need insurance. None of us benefits from sick people crowding our emergency rooms, while hospitals spread the costs of their treatment to those who assume the responsibility of paying their fair share. If consumers either can’t afford insurance or fail to demonstrate personal responsibility to my detriment, well, its time to make them pay their fair share. If the ACA needs tweaking, tweak it. But, don’t scare people into not getting insurance, so that I end up paying for their care! The uninsured hurt all of us, including themselves.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Thursday, Sep 16, 2021
Today’s blog is the third and final installment in a series in which I review how the Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control (DACC) has improved its operations over the past 20 years.
Thursday, Sep 2, 2021
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, youth drug abuse is a high-profile public health concern that is on the rise.
Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021
You simply have to drive through our community to appreciate the natural beauty of Santa Clarita
Thursday, Aug 26, 2021
The recent events in Afghanistan and their mental health ramifications for our military community remind us that there are challenges beyond the pandemic.
Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021
I am still haunted by a case I had in 1986 when I was a newly minted animal cruelty investigator in Houston, Texas. I had received a complaint from a resident about her neighbor, who had dozens of animals inside her home that were ill and often dying.
Tuesday, Aug 3, 2021
As you drive around Santa Clarita, do you ever wonder what work is being done at your neighborhood park? Or when the new Sheriff’s Station will be complete? Maybe you want to go ice skating at The Cube or find out what issues are going before the City Council. There are several ways you can discover what’s going on in your city.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]
Clampitt fire
After news reports detailing sexual assault allegations against a Newhall massage therapist on Sept. 2, a half-dozen additional victims have come forward, according to sheriff’s investigators.
Additional Victims Come Forward in Newhall Massage Therapist Sexual Assault Investigation
Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, welcomed news of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto of Assembly Bill 616 on Wednesday.
Newsom Vetoes Agricultural Worker Union Elections Bill Opposed by Wilk
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 32 new deaths and 1,238 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 35,524 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley. Additionally, Public Health announced that eligible Los Angeles County residents can begin receiving their booster doses at any of the hundreds of sites offering the Pfizer vaccine.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: County Announces Pfizer Booster Available to Eligible Residents; 35,524 Total SCV Cases
Yair Haimoff, SIOR and Randy Cude of Spectrum Commercial Real Estate, Inc., are pleased to announce a recent 71,874-square-foot ground lease located in Valencia, CA.
Spectrum CRE Completes Ground Lease with Tenant In-N-Out Burgers
Los Angeles County announced it is now administering Pfizer booster third doses after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle P. Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation for a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in several population groups. The CDC also recommended a booster dose for those in high-risk occupational and institutional settings.
County Begins Administering Pfizer Booster to Eligible Residents
1855 - Sanford & Cyrus Lyon establish Lyon's Station (for stagecoaches) near today's Sierra Hwy & Newhall Ave [story]
Sanford Lyon
Officials from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital are once again urging those eligible to get vaccinated, as the hospital is experiencing a marked influx of COVID-19 patients, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody said Thursday.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: Henry Mayo Hospital Admittance Up 50%; SCV Cases Total 35,477
A “significant amount of smoke” from the Windy and KNP Complex fires northeast of Bakersfield in the Sequoia National Forest have entered the Los Angeles area, according to a Thursday morning tweet from the U.S. National Weather Service Los Angeles.
Hazy SCV Skies from Sequoia Forest Fires
Spookiness is on its way to Main Street in Old Town Newhall.
Scarecrow Alley Coming to Old Town Newhall
The Chiquita Canyon Landfill Technical Advisory Committee met Wednesday afternoon to discuss updates at the Val Verde landfill.
Chiquita Canyon Landfill Health Report Nearing Final Process
Following a record-breaking event in 2020 – Soup for the Soul will once again be presented virtually in 2021.
Tickets Now on Sale for Bridge to Home’s 2021 Soup for the Soul Virtual Fundraiser
The city of Santa Clarita’s annual Evening of Remembrance event will occur on Wednesday, Sept. 29, beginning with a Walk of Remembrance at 6:15 p.m., followed by the program at 6:45 p.m.
Community Invited to Annual Evening of Remembrance
College of the Canyons is continuing its tradition of inviting community groups to experience Cougar football during the 2021 season, with all healthcare workers and first responders invited to attend Saturday’s game vs. Palomar College free of charge.
Cougars Football Continuing with Community Invite Tradition
The Santa Clarita chapter of the American Cancer Society is excited to announce its annual leading fundraiser of the year — Relay For Life - will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Westfield Town Center Mall, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Oct. 2: American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life
At least one person was reported wounded in a shooting in Newhall Wednesday night, prompting a response from law enforcement and medical personnel.
Newhall Shooting Sends One Person to Hospital
Are you ready for a “Partea”? Circle of Hope’s 17th Annual Tea Celebration will be held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Saturday, Oct. 9, beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Oct. 9: Circle of Hope’s 17th Annual Tea Celebration
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond proudly recognized Betty Reid Soskin, a pioneering Bay Area civil rights activist and the oldest living National Park Ranger serving in the United States, as an Ambassador to California Education on her 100th birthday.
Betty Reid Soskin Named California’s Newest Education Ambassador
The Mojave Area California State Parks  recently announced status updates for public use.
Status Updates Released for Mojave Area State Parks
1948 - Agua Dulce Women's Club organized [timeline]
Women's Club
The Santa Clarita Planning Commission approved the installation and operation of a Verizon wireless communication facility that will expand wireless coverage in the city’s center. 
Verizon Wireless Facility Approved By Planning Commission
State Senator Scott Wilk is honoring four Hispanic community leaders to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month. 
Wilk Honors Local Hispanic Community Leaders
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 41 new deaths and 1,750 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 35,403 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Nursing Facility Numbers See Decline; Santa Clarita Cases total: 35,403
College of the Canyons and the Santa Clarita Environmental Education Consortium, SCEEC, will virtually host the 2021 Green STEM Summit on Saturday, Oct. 9 with the purpose of introducing students to green careers.
COC’s Virtual Green STEM Summit Slated For October
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: