Elizabeth Emken: ‘It’s time to un-ring the Obamacare bell’

Elizabeth Emken: ‘It’s time to un-ring the Obamacare bell’

Note: This is the second in a series of profiles of the four major candidates for the crucial 7th Congressional District in California. The first, on Republican Igor Birman, is here.

Elizabeth Emken says it is a good time to be a Republican. She’s running for California’s 7th Congressional district, currently held by freshman Rep. Ami Bera, a Democrat.Elizabeth-Emken

If Emken’s name sounds familiar it is because she was the GOP’s U.S. Senate nominee in California in 2012 against Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstein.

‘Unring the bell on Obamacare’

Health care is a passionate issue for Emken. “America has some of the finest hospitals, physicians and nurses the world has ever known,” she told me during a recent interview. “We also have a health care system that is struggling with issues of affordability and access.”

“The Obama administration will blame big bad insurance companies,” Emken said. “The irony is it may ‘cover everyone,’ but it will further bifurcate. Prior to 2009, we were working out health care and insurance issues. We were starting to deal with the base inequities between large and small insurance plans, by pushing to open up competition. The competitive pressure problem will only be fixed when we take on the tax code. But President Obama has no desire to deal with the debt, deficit or tax code – because no political good can come from fixing the tax code.”

Currently, Emken explained, employers are encouraged by the federal tax system to be the purchasers of health insurance. Individual persons do not get the tax deduction for insurance. Attempting to contain costs, employers have opted for the various forms of managed care.

“The Supreme Court ruling [approving the program] brought Obamacare’s hidden taxes to the light of day,” Emken said. “With a price tag double what the Democrats promised and growing exponentially every day, the ‘Affordable Care Act’ may be the most ironic title for a major bill in the history of Congress.

Repeal

Emken wants what she calls “Obama’s dishonest attempt at health care reform” to be repealed before its regulations and price controls further damage the availability and quality of health care. “It should be replaced with policies that target specific health market concerns: quality, affordability and access,” she said. “We need a transformational realignment that moves us back toward a system that is affordable and once again, at its core, consists of a medical provider, and a patient, in an exam room.

“Obamacare has undermined positive health care reforms that have been under way since the late 1990s and its skyrocketing costs have become a major deterrent to America’s corporate stability. Even more alarming for individual taxpayers and families, congressional budget analysts are now estimating that nearly 6 million Americans — most of them middle class — will have to pay a penalty for not getting health insurance once Obamacare is fully in place.”536695_10151847757924068_1170822933_n

Emken plans on taking this issue to Bera, a medical doctor who campaigned in 2012 as “Dr. Ami Bera.” He beat Rep. Dan Lungren, the Republican incumbent and former California attorney general. Taking back the seat is a key goal of state and national Republicans for retaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I’ve not found one doctor who likes Obamacare,” Emken said. Bera has supported Obamacare, and voted against the repeal, according to his official Congressional website.

The campaign

Emken called it a time of a lack of jobs. “Small business is feeling crushed,” she said. “The anti-business environment is really felt in my district.”

Emken said smaller businesses in particular are struggling with current healthcare issues, as well as staggering regulations. “There’s a malaise of sorts,” she said. “There’s a disbelief that government can or will fix anything.”

Emken said that what sets her apart from Bera, and her Republican opponents, is her experience and family. “People are desperate for leaders who know what their families are going through,” she said. “And, they believe government is part of the problem.”

Emken worked in management, financial analysis and corporate operations at IBM as an efficiency and cost cutting expert, helping streamline operations, eliminate waste, and save the company millions of dollars.

_MG_5693After her son was diagnosed with autism, Emken began a second career as an executive with Autism Speaks, advocating for developmentally disabled children

She led the national charge, fighting for transparency and accountability on how the National Institutes of Health would spend autism research dollars. Her efforts produced a portfolio analysis of autism spending that would have to withstand public scrutiny — a policy Emken said should apply throughout the entire government.

Senate race 2012

Emken’s U.S. Senate race was particularly interesting because Feinstein refused to debate Emken. Feinstein acted as if the 2012 race for the U.S. Senate was a coronation, and was the only U.S. Senator running for reelection who would not debate her opponent. Voters in California were denied key questions that Emken would have brought to Feinstein about the forthcoming Obamacare implementation.

Emken hopes Bera will debate her, and said she would like the Sacramento Bee to host a debate forum during the primary.

2014 race

In California’s new “top two” voting system, the two candidates with the most votes in the June primary face off in a November 2014 runoff. Bera, as the Democratic incumbent, almost certainly will be one of those two.Which means that, for the second slot, Emken is challenging Republicans Doug Ose, a former California congressman from 1999 to 2005; and Birman, a former congressional aid. My profile of Birman is here. My profiles Ose and Bera will be coming soon.

15 comments

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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 15 November, 2013, 14:19

    The Republicans are just as guilty as the Democrats for turning healthcare into an extortion racket in the United States. Even prior to ObamaCare being enacted the nation was (and continues to this day) spending nearly 20% of our GDP on medical services. Why? Because both the Republican and Democrats have allowed the medical industry to write laws and then pay them off to approve the laws that benefit the medical industry. ObamaCare is only a continuation of the same racket we experienced with the previous healthcare system. It just shifted all the new costs to the productive working middle class.

    So for these opportunist Republican politicians to claim that by repealing ObamaCare we can solve the medical problems in this country is an outright lie. We had the same medical problems prior to ObamaCare. We spend about 20% of our GDP on healthcare because we’re being extorted by the medical industry. That’s the reason you never see any prices listed in hospitals or medical offices for the procedures they offer. That’s the reason you can go to India to a 1st class hospital and get a 4-vessel bypass surgery performed by American educated doctors for $15,000 while that same procedure would cost you $150,000 – $200,000 in an American hospital. That’s the reason you pay $100 for a 30-day supply of an American-made branded pharmaceutical while you would pay $30 for the same drug if you lived in France, Germany, Netherlands or Austria. You are subsidizing the rest of the world with the inflated prices that you pay for your health care because of US laws written by the US medical industry and passed by US politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) in the play for pay game that protect US medical corporations from transparency at home and global competition.

    This is the reason we spend about 20% of our GDP on health care while most other 1st world nations spend only 9%-13%.

    And until these politicians start telling you the truth and doing something to stop the corporate extortion – your health care premiums will continue to rise regardless whether it’s under ObamaCare or the old health care system that preceded it.

    Reply this comment
  2. The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit
    The Ted Steele Conceptual Abstraction Unit 15 November, 2013, 15:18

    Emkens notions about healthcare are nonsense.—She touts the 90’s like it was good for healthcare! LOL– Oh my—-Another example of how and why Repubs are going to NOT getthe gains they should out of this in 2012 and how they are going to lose yet again in 2016– no one thinks that repubs want ANYthing to do with a solution– the war on women, poor and the middle class continues….it’s sad to see no one in DC rising to the occaision….

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler 15 November, 2013, 17:19

      Ted: Your beloved Obamacare is imploding, and the Democratic Party along with it. I’m loving it. (Not that the GOP deserves the break.)

      Reply this comment
      • Ted Steele, CEO
        Ted Steele, CEO 18 November, 2013, 07:45

        John– Rough patch for sure but the website will get fixed and in a few years between fixes in the system and increased invincible enrollment, it will work.It is never as black and white as you Doomers ™ make it out to be…

        but thanks for playing!

        Reply this comment
        • John Seiler
          John Seiler 18 November, 2013, 10:57

          I’m not a doomer. And I’m not happy that Republicans will benefit.

          But the Obamacare disaster is demolishing the Democrats, who will lose the Senate next year, and the White House in 2016. This also discredits welfare programs for many years. It’s the CA DMV but a thousand times worse.

          Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonderdog!
      Rex the Wonderdog! 16 November, 2013, 08:17

      no one thinks that repubs want ANYthing to do with a solution– the war on women, poor and the middle class continues….

      Yes, the war continues, by the dems, with their progressive taxes to fund and support their main and only constituency, government trough feeders.

      Reply this comment
    • Dyspeptic
      Dyspeptic 18 November, 2013, 09:33

      “the war on women”

      This war on women trope is getting old. I have no idea what it even means. Can’t you Obama-bots think of new issues to get weewee’d up over because this one is loosing traction.

      It’s funny how the collectivist mind works. The talking points memo goes out from DNC headquarters and all of the hive minds of the left repeat it like an incantation. Reading Ted is like listening to a room full of parrots trained by Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

      I wonder if Emken will have any better luck against Bera than she had running against The Old Frisco Witch? Maybe the fiasco that is Obummercare will do her work for her.

      Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 November, 2013, 18:17

    Come on guys……there is blame all around…….the Dems forgot this is Insurance not a pink piggy bank; the Republicans are a bunch of bumblers as far as street communications like Magoo in the comics.

    We need G. I. Joe and Rosie the Riveter devoid of politics…..

    Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 15 November, 2013, 20:35

    Republicans and Democrats are teammates who wear different colored jerseys.

    They empower each other to keep the phony 2-party system alive and maintain total control over your lives.

    The examples are numerous.

    The result? Count how many third party representatives you have seated in the Ca state and fed legislatures.

    Hint: You won’t need both hands.

    Reply this comment
  5. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 17 November, 2013, 14:48

    Did you happen to read that a new law passed by the Maine legislature that became effective in October allowed Maine residents to get their prescription drugs via mail from Canada, England, New Zealand or Australia? Since pharmaceuticals are 30%-70% cheaper in foreign lands (yes, even American-made pharmaceuticals) the Maine legislators wanted their residents (many of whom are on fixed-incomes and are struggling to survive finanically) to get a price break on their sometimes life-saving medications.

    The result? The pharmaceutical industry has sued the state of Maine to force the repeal of the State law to force the Maine residents to buy their drugs from the US system (naturally, so that they must pay the much higher prices).
    No doubt the courts will back the pharma companies, since Congress has already made the reimportation of US made pharmacuticals illegal (pay for play).

    This is what I referenced in my opening comment under this thread. It’s basic extortion to force you to subsidize foreign consumers who pay greater than 40% LESS for their American-made pharmaceuticals than you do.

    This is the REAL reason your healthcare system is so out of whack. ObamaCare is just a symptom of the problem.

    More evidence of the boot on the back of your neck. Land of the free? Boy, that’s a good one!

    Reply this comment
  6. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 18 November, 2013, 07:46

    You might like Somalia Let it Collapse….or is there ANY country on earth you think is a paradise?

    oh my

    Reply this comment
    • Dyspeptic
      Dyspeptic 18 November, 2013, 14:14

      Ted, please tell me you don’t really believe that our only choices are a dystopian Welfare-Warfare police state and Somalia. You do understand that their are options in between those two extremes, yes? You can continue to oversimplify if it makes you feel better but please try to get real.

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 18 November, 2013, 16:31

        Dys, I once knew a Somali immigrant who used to always use Somali as his only reference point when discussing his new life in America. That’s all he knew. A very limited worldview. I never expected any more than that from him. I just came to accept him as he was.

        Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonderdog!
      Rex the Wonderdog! 18 November, 2013, 21:29

      Teddy you WILL like North Korea!

      Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 19 November, 2013, 10:08

    Poodle…..word has it you were out Graboid hunting this past weekend in Paradise Valley with Michael Gross and Kevin Bacon.

    Reply this comment

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