April 3, 2012 —
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 19, NY — With the new congressional districts drawn and in place, the race for District 19, which includes Sullivan County, has begun in earnest. On the Republican side is Congressman Chris Gibson, who was swept into office in the Republican wave in 2010, which occurred, at least in part, in reaction to President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
On his website, Gibson notes that he voted to repeal Obamacare because it increased government spending by $1.2 trillion, and among other things, “placed an unconstitutional mandate on Americans, requiring them to purchase expensive health insurance.”
Gibson’s challenger, Democrat Julian Schreibman, does not specifically address Obamacare on his website, and the other challenger, Democrat Joel Tyner, says only that “59% of Americans support expanding Medicare to cover us all—to save $400 billion a year.”
Gibson won in the 20th district, and because of redistricting he now lives in the 19th, which is considered by some to be less conservative than the existing 19th. Therefore, Schreibman is attacking Gibson for supporting a budget last year that would have likely cut the budget for Medicare.
In a press release, Schreibman said Gibson voted “just a few months ago for a Republican budget that would end Medicare as we know it, and cost seniors $6,400 more out-of-pocket. But having been moved into a congressional district in which his 2011 position was wildly unpopular, Congressman Gibson is now trying to fool New Yorkers by voting against the nearly identical 2012 budget that he knew Republicans would pass anyway.”
, on the other hand, says that he would vote against any cuts to Medicare, and he said he was one of only 10 Republicans out of 238 to vote against his own party’s proposed budget on March 29, a $200 billion spending increase over the next decade. His campaign said in a press release, “The former Army colonel has said repeatedly that the U.S. spends too much money on its military and that spending hasn’t necessarily made the nation safe.”
Tyner did not issue a press release on the matter of the Gibson vote, but information on his website suggests that the future of Medicare, as in much of the rest of the country, will play a role in this congressional race this year. His website claims, “78% of Americans support protecting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid from any cuts.”