Vander Plaats Dismisses Christopher “Ready, Fire, Aim” Rants’ Attack on Health Care Core Principles

DES MOINES – Bob Vander Plaats, the front-runner for the 2010 Republican gubernatorial nomination, today dismissed an attack by fellow candidate Christopher Rants as “more of the same from a career politician.”

Rants issued a statement falsely claiming Vander Plaats “unveiled a health care plan over the weekend” that would “double the size of the state budget.” Instead, Vander Plaats was a discussing what Iowans could do if the state retained the tax dollars currently being sent to Washington, D.C., for Medicaid and Medicare.

“First, let me say, I will base my decisions as governor on the core principles of less government, lower taxes and higher quality, including the area of health care. I was speaking to fellow Republicans in Dallas County about core principles, not a plan. It’s clear to me that President Obama and congressional Democrats are going to push more health care costs onto the states. I’m making the point that they want socialized medicine and I’m saying, ‘What happens if you move the pendulum the other way? What if you take the federal government out of it and leave the money here?’” Vander Plaats said. “It’s not the federal government’s money, it’s our money. We don’t want federal bureaucrats and politicians making health care decisions for our families and getting between us and our doctors. We know how to spend it more wisely than Washington does. Not many Iowans would argue with that reality.”

Noting that Iowa doctors are reimbursed much less than their peers in other states under current Medicaid rules, he continued, “Why would Iowa trust the federal government today? I don’t doubt that we could come up with a better reimbursement plan if the states were allowed to control their own Medicaid dollars. Does Christopher really think Barack Obama would do a better job of managing our health care than we would?”

Vander Plaats said his approach to health care is to “put the focus on the person not on government.” He favors a greater emphasis on preventive care, more insurance coverage pooling, liability reform, allowing Iowans to put more dollars into medical savings accounts and health savings accounts and other innovations.

“Those are just some of the strategies Iowans have told me they favor,” Vander Plaats said.

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