By John Peschong

Published in the SLO Tribune May 25, 2014

The issue: Should voters return Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, to Congress?

A conservative’s perspective:

Congresswoman Lois Capps has represented this area for nearly two decades, winning her first election when Bill Clinton was president. While I do not agree with many of her positions, I do respect her. However, it is time for a fresh vision for congressional District 24.

We have all seen or experienced firsthand the flaws of nearly every aspect of the Affordable Care Act.

The rollout was botched and cost nearly $4.7 billion to address issues that we are still suffering through. Individuals, families and businesses have experienced drastic hikes in their insurance premiums and many, like my family, have been kicked off their desired plans and forced to buy insurance that government bureaucrats determined was best for them. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the ACA will cost the American people nearly $1.4 trillion and 31 million people will remain uninsured, over the next decade.

The ACA had two goals: insure the uninsured, and lower the costs of health care. Unfortunately it has failed the American people on both counts.

Congresswoman Capps claimed to have helped to write this bill.

Since day one, Lois Capps has been a strong and consistent supporter of the Affordable Care Act.

She has stood in lockstep with President Barack Obama and voted against the interests of the American people and in favor of growing the government and big health insurance corporations. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported recently that 55 percent of Americans disapprove of the health care law Capps helped write.

In addition to the ACA’s negative effects on the costs of health care, it also cuts $716 billion from Medicare to fund the Medicaid expansion and cuts $150 billion from Medicare Advantage. We should be protecting seniors, some of the most vulnerable in our society, not destabilizing one of the programs they depend on most.

In 2015 (conveniently after the midterm election), the much-delayed employer insurance mandate will kick in and will begin adding 20 to 40 million to the struggling health insurance exchanges.

The additional mandates on business will result in less hiring, less investment and a continuation of a sluggish economic recovery. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the ACA subsidies will discourage people from working, and result in 2.5 million employees to drop out of the labor force.

Congresswoman Capps’ vehement support of this law is precisely the reason that the United States Chamber of Commerce gave Capps a 41 percent rating, the Club for Growth rated her at 7 percent and Americans for Prosperity handed her a 6 percent rating.

When all is said and done, we can see the devastating effects of the ACA, a law that Capps has been behind from the beginning.

This is typical of a representative that believes that every problem that society faces is a problem that a federal government program or mandate should fix.

This stale philosophy is not what we need, and after nearly two decades in Congress, it is time for fresh ideas and a new leader to represent our congressional district. Lois Capps is a good person and has enjoyed a very long career as our representative, but it is time for her to retire and take her health care plan with her.

John Allan Peschong served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration and as a senior strategist for the campaigns of President George W. Bush. He is a founding partner of Meridian Pacific Inc., a public relations and affairs company, and serves as chairman of the San Luis Obispo County Republican Party.