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1/6/2011 10:15:00 PM
Gosar rejects government insurance, hires staff during first days
Courtesy U.S. Rep. GosarFlagstaff dentist Paul Gosar takes the oath of office while his wife, Maude, his family, and new Speaker of the House John Boehner look on at the swearing-in ceremony Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy U.S. Rep. Gosar
Flagstaff dentist Paul Gosar takes the oath of office while his wife, Maude, his family, and new Speaker of the House John Boehner look on at the swearing-in ceremony Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

New U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar says he won't sign up his family for federal health insurance since he wants to dismantle the landmark health care legislation the previous Congress created.

Gosar, a Flagstaff dentist, said members of Congress should not vote for laws they don't want for themselves, and vice versa.

"I'm keeping my own private (health insurance) plan," he said.

Democratic Party press releases have been goading Republicans who oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 to reject government health care insurance for themselves. Several Republicans already have pledged not to sign up for government health care.

Gosar said medical insurance costs for his family have increased 30 percent in the past three months.

He doesn't believe the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimate that the new health care law will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over a decade.

"I don't buy it," he said, although he declined to describe flaws in the CBO estimate at this time. The current health care law has a few good points, but those are the exceptions, he said. More competition and tort reform would be better ways to reduce health care costs, he added.

House Republicans have introduced H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.

The CBO estimated Thursday that H.R. 2 would increase the federal deficit by roughly $230 billion between 2012 and 2021, while saving government agencies $10 billion to $20 billion in oversight costs.

The CBO also estimated that 32 million fewer non-elderly people would have health insurance under H.R. 2.

On its first day of business Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House approved rules along party lines that say the House won't consider any bills that cost more than $5 billion.

However, the rules also listed several exceptions to that $5 billion limitation, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Staffers have Palin connections

Along with business in the House, Gosar has been busy assembling his staff and said he has all but a few positions figured out.

Two of his top staffers have strong links to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who publicly supported Gosar's campaign.

Retired Alaskan dentist Rob Robinson is Gosar's chief of staff, while attorney Thomas Van Flein is Gosar's legislative director and deputy chief of staff.

Robinson knows Palin because he was a politically active dentist in the tiny community of Wasilla where Palin served as mayor. Robinson moved to Arizona several years ago and helped run Gosar's election campaign.

Van Flein is leaving his work as a Palin family attorney to work for Gosar. Van Flein worked in Arizona in the past and was legal counsel for Gosar's congressional campaign.

"These were friends of mine," Gosar said. All have ties to the American Dental Association.

As president of the Arizona Dental Association and vice chair of the Arizona Dental Association Council on Government Affairs for the past four years, Gosar was involved in health care and business legislation.

Robinson was chair of the American Dental Association Council on Government Affairs, while Van Flein was the council's attorney.

Alaska and Arizona have similar issues including fire, water, minerals and clean air, Gosar said.

Town halls coming soon

Gosar said he will introduce his staff to his constituents at a series of town hall meetings across the sprawling rural 1st Congressional District in late January and early February.

The stops will include Prescott, but Gosar's office has not yet released dates for the town halls.

The new House schedule that includes a week off each month will allow him and his staff to return often to Arizona and keep up with constituents' concerns, Gosar said.

He said his major goal is to get people back to work by helping to create jobs. That includes increasing access to credit and reducing unnecessary government regulations, he said.

Getting rid of the new health care law will help reduce costs for small businesses, he said, and cutting the federal budget also will help.

Gosar the videographer

While he's been busy at work, Gosar said his wife and children have been enjoying the sights in D.C. since arriving Jan. 1.

He found an apartment and created a short video of it for ABC News, which is following Gosar and nine other freshman Republican lawmakers throughout their first year in the 112th Congress.

Gosar said his son Gaston wasn't so thrilled about being filmed sleeping in a closet in the crowded two-bedroom D.C. apartment Gosar is renting.

"That was my poor attempt at being a camera man," Gosar admitted.

Gosar beat freshman incumbent Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, a Flagstaff attorney, in the November general election.

A strong turnout in Yavapai County, a Republican stronghold, helped propel Gosar to victory.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 08, 2011
Article comment by: Gosar Goes Too Far

Gosar is arrogant!.
In first place, he can afford his private insurance. In the 2nd place, his insurance is part of a huge group policy for medical professionals, a sweet deal.
If he really knew the facts, he wouldn't dare boast this!

Posted: Saturday, January 08, 2011
Article comment by: keen observer

Citizens of this congressional district will soon realize that they did in rejecting Rep. Kirkpatrick for Rep. Gosar. Kirkpatrick, a moderate, reached across party lines and
effectively represented her district.
Gosar appears connected mainly to dentistry and to associates of Sarah Palin. His remarks about public policy are strange. A steep learning curve for him.

Posted: Saturday, January 08, 2011
Article comment by: Bill D

Well it looks like we got a pig in a poke with Gosar. He has only been in congress 3 days, but he sure knows how to lie to the people. In the article he states that he found a 2-bedroom apartment and rented it. But on Wednesday, during a interview on TV, Channel 3TV to be exact, he stated that he was going to sleep in his office, and go down to the gym and shower, this was because he wanted to available to his constituents as much as possible. What a crock of crap, he has really learned how to be a congressman already, since he has talked out of both sides of his mouth, and has only been there 3 days. If this is any indication of what he is going to be like in the future, then we are going to get the proverbial "screwing" as normal. If he does like all of the rest of the politicians, then I don't feel sorry for all of you republiCONS, you are going to get what you deserve.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Luis de Funes

Of course Gaston did not like D.C. he missed the excellent healthcare the French enjoy. Less then a third the cost U.S. spends and actually the Europeans get care without being harassed by billing and collection agencies. Filling for bankruptcies and loosing their homes when they get sick.
I guess since the "American dream" was just a dream there is nothing else to loose. I love my house in Provence and the excellent healthcare the government provides. Viva Sarkozy...and please keep this Gosar in Arizona.He is embarrassment to his French roots>Viva la France.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Give'm Hell Harry

After reading the ramblings and ravings of the lunatic wingnut CONservatives here I am convinced that the crazies have taken over the insane asylum! And they are all taking the same drugs as RUSH!

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Steve in PV

Anyone who argues this or any other issue along party lines is missing the boat. It is progressive policies that are sinking the country under a mountain of unsustainable debt compounded on more debt to buy a few votes in a vain attempt to give everyone a free ride. Once all the health insurance companies go belly up the government will be more than happy to step in and save us from ourselves. That has been the plan all along. Where will your choices be then? "Government always takes care of itself" to quote Thomas Sowell.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Steve in PV

I don't like to repeat myself, but obviously some of you are not paying attention: The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) is REQUIRED BY LAW to use the assumptions it is given by the Congress. Period. Are we to believe the fools who have bankrupted EVERY government agency and every government program are capable of rational assumptions? Sometime in the near future the USA is going to do a Thelma & Louise. It may already be too late, only time will tell.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Tired of business as usual...

B W -There you go with more of your "B S".
Honky-Just love to hear yourself blow, don't you? When are you going to figure out that IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU??
And to the newcomer...
SHANO O...Your boat sailed without you...
(you missed the boat...just in case you missed the translation)
Quite a crop we have here...

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Mr. Maverick

This is all nice for Gosar. I cannot get health insurance in this State and both my wife and I were illegally dropped from our insurance. What is he going to do about that? He is just elected and already out of touch with what is going on with health care.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: The Real Prescott Patriot

So what!!!, McDonald's is exempt as well as every Congress person and Senator!!!

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: West Sider

Steve in PV:
Sorry guy, progressive income tax began in 1861 under President Lincoln. The Tax Act of 1861 (modified in 1862) imposed tax at different rates depending on level of income, i.e., a progressive tax. The 16th Amendment in 1913 didn't start income taxation, it only removed the requirement for apportionment of tax between the various states based on the census.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Louis Skulnik

Representative Gosar is a real stand up guy for not taking the Govt. Health Plan. I wonder how many of the Birther, Wing Nut Jobs that were sworn in with him will also reject it. After the wholw Repeal Farce dies down I wonder if He will change his mind? Kirkpatrick and Mitchell were flat out "Swift Boated" in this last election. When will naive AZ voters wake up? This new batch of electees, including McCain, do not represent all of us.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: B Logical

Those of you that think the liberals are taking over your world, you might want to look up the definition of liberalism. You might be surprised. Funny that the word also has inherent the derivative of liberty.
Guess these conservatives don't like the idea of liberty.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Local Citizen

This Newbe sounds like Tricky Ricky Renzee. Say when is his trial slated, to began or have the Repulsives got it cancelled, You get what you pay for, couldn't cost much.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: birther t. bagur

Tort reform (or at least the tort reform wanted by Republicans) is prohibited by the Arizona State Constitution (i.e. it is unconstitutional). Republicans have made Arizonans vote on changing the AZ Constitution to allow tort reform on 3 separate occasions and it has not passed because Arizonans do not tort reform.

Now why do these Republicans like Gosar whine about how Obamacare is "unpopular", and "unconstitutional", yet the only policy solutions they offer are actually unconstitutional and unpopular in their very own states?

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: There he goes again

Hey there donkey burro, how do you know Gosar didn't earn his "wealth"? Don't tell us that was just more of the incoherent nonsense that we're used to hearing from you. Poor donkey burro, so sad and also has NOTHING of substance to say. You probably think that getting credentials to practice dentistry are just given away. No little donkey burro, just because you are used to having things given to you doesn't mean everyone else is the same. Now let's hear your standard response, telling me to get my "hood" and that I belong to the "klan" simply because I don't agree with your pathetic liberal ideology. You are dismissed, run along now.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Autumn Crazy

That is a real bad attitude going in with an agenda to take something away that isn't even there yet for the working class. He probably does have great insurance for his family so it's not a problem for him. He hasn't seen the horror stories that we as a people have seen with folks who haven't got insurance. People dieing because they can't afford meds for themselves or people who are in debt to hospitals for the rest of their lives due to the high cost of health care. I worked in a hospital and have seen grown people cry when told they had these enormous bills to pay off. People die @ home because they are scared to go to a hospital for the help they need because they are afraid of the bills they'll get. Have a heart Washington and for the Washington guy who just got in there, knock that chip off your shoulder!...............

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: To Steve in PV

Neither you nor Gosar nor any other Republican has pointed out the erroneous assumptions. It's not enough just to say, "I don't believe the projections." Why don't you provide better assumptions and then see what happens to the projections?

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: I can't believe you are such a fool.

How convenient that the Repub-corps would now reject the CBO and propose to end that office, since to kill the new health insurance bill would show an increase in deficits. The whole debate just shows the degree of how corrupt our representatives are. You got problems with the details, propose amendments. I don't like the mandatory provisions (even for auto) and would have preferred the public option that would bring the stiff market pressure to lower cost. The effort to repeal the bill, one that had the minimal protections and regulations, for absolutely nothing shows they only care about the corporate profits and campaign money. His town hall idea will likely be accompanied by the health insurance paid agents and fake grass roots organization, like Tea Party Express funded by the health insurance corporations. I don't begrudge the congressman's success or his ability to afford private insurance, not many can afford even the minimal private market coverage. It is already apparent he is part of the corporatist bundle. How does the fake, grandstanding, big motion, chanting slogans address the real health insurance issues? They really don't work for us and apparently never intended too. "Government take over" is nothing more than a slogan to appeal to the less informed, to scare you into voting against your own interest. Repeat the lie often enough and people will believe..

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Grass Roots

When I see class warfare being put forth as an argument, I dismiss those who use it. Rep. Gosar is putting his money where his mouth is - that's all. I applaud him for this! Health care is never "free" - for those of you crying about being victims of our system. Get rid of the radical socialized Obamacare, make minimal changes to our system and let's get on with the best medical system in the world. <
I don't hear about Nancy Pelosi's $10,000 a night Hawaiian vacation last week, compliments of the taxpayer. Isn't she one of the wealthiest in Congress? Where's the outrage??

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Marvin Gardens

Poor liberals here today, blubbering a flailing away in their typical, hysterical fashion. They are so beside themselves that they voted for such an incompetent like Obama and that their congressional house of cards is mostly dismantled. They foolishly embrace Obamacare even though it's already proving to be a very flawed policy to say the least. They really don't care what happens to this country as long as the leftist policies they like are implemented. Oabmacare is a fraud. Sure, we needed some reforms in our healthcare system nationwide, but we did NOT need the overwhelming government plan that was passed. Obama and the leftists in congress COULD have reformed things, making healthcare available to EVERYONE...but not requiring ANYONE to sign on to it. They could have made healthcare across the board more affordable to everyone, by modifying mal-practice lawsuit criteria and allowing insurance companies to compete more easily state-to-state. Then of course eliminating healthcare services to ILLEGAL ALIENS would have also saved hundreds of millions annually. But NOOOOO, the leftists didn't want to do those things at all. That was never their intent. They want CONTROL and only the fools can not see that.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: shano o

Good thing the GOP blocked a effort by the Democrats in the House to DISCLOSE whether or not they are taking government health insurance.
Gosar may want everyone to know he is rich enough to afford excellent private insurance, but the rest of the GOP congress refuses to tell us that they have government run health insurance.
The whole health care bill goes into effect in 2014. We will have insurance exchanges that will include a NON PROFIT option. I used to like BC/BS before they sold out and started trading on Wall Street. Now they suck us dry by statistical 'analysis'- front running any medical problems one may have to ensure they do not have to pay.
Private health insurance is nothing but a scam these days unless you can afford gold plated policies. I will happily sign up for the non profit in the insurance exchanges in 2014.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: The Rev

Hello, hello, are we transmitting? I hope this makes it through.

It is the year 2129. The United States has become a Christian Theocracy. We believe our fate was sealed in 2011 when the Republicans won the House in 2010. The Progressives began even louder campaigns against the GOP. Some of their words were warranted but mostly their attacks were petty, almost childish. It was just too late when the Liberals understood the effect their blind hatred had on the Conservative Movement. Without credible opposition the Conservatives received near complete support in the following years. If only msNBC hadn't aired that special Sarah Palin: Portrait of Evil. Damn you Keith Olbermann. In my time what was the fictional ravings of "rational thinkers" in 2011 has become reality. It is too late for our time line but there is still hope for yours. Our people believe that had the Progressives kept it more positive our world would have been different and equilibrium would have been maintained. We have to keep moving before the Crossbots find our position. Good Luck and....God Bless.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: Steve in PV

"These United States" largely avoided the class envy trap - until 1913 with the passage of the "progressive" income tax. This abomination has pitted one citizen against another ever since and it was by design. The non-existent "Health care crises" was another manipulation by the progressives that divided those with health care against those without. Cost and availability were and STILL ARE issues. Let's address the issues directly and avoid the trap of a needless government take over that will continue to divide the country - IT'S BY DESIGN - DON'T FALL FOR IT. Repeal Obamacare.

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011
Article comment by: J R

"We the people" includes the politicians. All this "special" legislation (especially Obama"care") should include ALL and not exempt a "special" few, who just happen to be the people who wrote and passed the very law they want to be exempt from! It's great to see Dr. Gosar in action! Thank you Dr. Gosar.

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