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Reed and Robertson spar over health care

By Jerry Zremski

    WASHINGTON -- The Democratic candidate who's challenging Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, favored a single-payer health care plan before Congress passed Obamacare, and Reed is making an issue of it.

    Days after a YouTube site called "Legal Insurrection" aired a compilation of years-old videos in which Martha Robertson endorsed a health system run entirely by the federal government, Reed on Monday said that's a stance that should worry voters.

    "In my opinion, that's government-controlled, government-run health care, and I think that's the wrong policy for America," Reed told reporters on his weekly conference call.  "It's problematic and it's something the voters should be aware of. If you put her position on single payer health care out to the American people as well as the voters of the 23rd congressional district, it would be resoundingly rejected."

    The video shows Robertson saying that the American health care system "needs to be single payer." She also portrayed Obamacare as a path to a government-run health plan, saying: "We'll get to single payer soon."

    Asked about those comments on Monday, Robertson said she now favors "fixing the Affordable Care Act" rather than replacing it with a single-payer plan.

    "The American people want their government to solve problems and not to have the same arguments over and over again," said Robertson, who chairs the Tompkins County Legislature. "This is the law of the land. It's been in place for three years already with people getting insurance who haven't been able to get it before, people keeping insurance that they couldn't keep before, seniors paying less for their prescription drugs. That's already in place. Tom Reed would turn that back, would take that away from his neighbors."

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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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