Dr. Alieta Eck is laying the groundwork to run against 12 District Congressman Rush Holt. She expects to make a formal announcement of her candidacy after the first of the year. She was a candidate in the Special Senate Primary to replace the late Senator Frank Lautenberg this summer, losing to former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. Lonegan went on to lose to then Newark Mayor Cory Booker by 11%.
Eck told MMM this afternoon that she is setting up meetings with the Republican County Chairs of the distirct (Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union) and the National Republian Congressional Committee. She hopes to avoid having to defend her nominating petitions come April. She also hopes to be unopposed for the GOP nomination. Eck said she is being advised by GOP consultant David Millner and former Congressman Mike Pappas. Holt unseated Pappas in 1998.
A Star Ledger headline reads: “ObamaCare fuels applicant boom for NJ Medicaid—Advocate hails 35% increase in October.” Almost 22,000 new applications were filed in October, up from 16,000 in September. Is this a triumph? Was a 990-page law needed to accomplish this? The taxpayers will have to fork over $5,000 per applicant to a Medicaid HMO—that’s $110 million—and what will the patients get?
I am a physician who volunteers at the Zarephath Health Center, a non-government charity clinic in central NJ, where volunteers care for the poor and uninsured. We see Medicaid patients who cannot find a Medicaid doctor. The other day I saw a 35-year-old mother with severe asthma. She is on Medicaid and had gone to the emergency room a few days earlier. She was instructed to find a physician for follow-up treatment. Unable to find a doctor who takes Medicaid, she was welcomed at our clinic. I saw her, spent time hearing her story, and was happy to give her prescriptions to keep her asthma in check.
The next day she returned with the odd complaint that no pharmacy would fill her prescriptions. Since I had not enrolled as a “non-billing Medicaid provider,” the pharmacies were told they would not be paid if they filled my prescriptions. I have a license, am board certified in internal medicine, and pay each year to keep my controlled-substances licenses updated, so why would they not honor my prescriptions?
When the patient called the Medicaid office, they instructed her to go back to the emergency room to get her prescriptions rewritten there—presumably copied by a physician enrolled in the program. Why would the Medicaid program deny her the medicines she needed? One would think they would appreciate the fact that a doctor was willing to see and care for her without costing the system anything. But apparently this is not how a bloated bureaucracy works.
Question: If a $600/month insurance policy only costs the individual $33, what does it REALLY cost?
Answer: $600, with $567 less in purchasing power for the hard-working taxpayer who is subsidizing it.
Smoke and mirrors make for bad policy. When we buy any type of insurance, we weigh the benefits of the policy against the loss of the money we must put out to purchase the policy. When we ask the taxpayers to subsidize our policy, all such reasoning disappears.
Most of us have limited funds, so we must choose carefully. Wise people insure against major loss, such as our house burning down. Most of us believe that paying $1,000 per year is reasonable, as the cost to rebuild a house is hundreds of thousands of dollars. Insurance gives us peace of mind, even though the chance of our house burning down is statistically very low.
For many reasons, we have allowed health insurance to defy all the principles of insurance. There is something emotional about health insurance. Maybe it is because we fear death and want to be sure it does not happen to us any time soon. Maybe it is watching others suffer from illness and want insurance to assure that they get well, do not suffer, and have all their bills paid.
We have actually been duped into thinking that someone else ought to pay for all the health care we need. Politicians gain support and votes when they assure the masses that they care about their health. And insurance companies are more than happy to offer generous policies since commissions and CEO compensation are a percentage of the premiums.
At Steve Lonegan’s press conference on Saturday, the front runner in tomorrow’s GOP primary to replace the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg said that his opponent, Dr. Alieta Eck, first presented herself the party as pro-life but recently announced she was pro-abortion. Lonegan said Eck should leave the Republican party.
The confusion arose out of comments Eck made during a meeting of the Long Hill Republicans last week wherein she said that there was no practical way for the government to prevent abortions during the early stages of pregnancy.
MMM wanted to clear up the confusion and understand Eck’s position. She granted Art Gallagher an interview yesterday at her free health clinic in Somerset.
Eck said she is unabashedly pro-life. We spoke about her work with the poor, her experiences campaigning for Senate, and her political future.
Eck said she can’t imagine that Lonegan will be elected in the October 16 Special Senate Election, if he defeats her, as the polls indicate he will tomorrow. She said she will be a candidate for U.S. Senate again next year should the Democratic nominee selected tomorrow be elected. She wouldn’t rule out another primary against Lonegan, even if Lonegan is elected in October.
With less than three weeks to go until the Special Senate Primary on August 13, the GOP hopefuls are debating debates.
Yesterday, Dr. Alieta Eck’s campaign Tom Roberts put out a statement with the headline Lonegan Refuses To Debate.
(Somerset, NJ) – Today, Eck for Senate learned that Steve Lonegan has refused a debate organized by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, which would have matched him against Dr. Alieta Eck on Saturday, July 27th.
“That Steve Lonegan doesn’t want to debate Dr. Eck should probably come as no surprise. Mr. Lonegan has run for office many times and can identify some problems facing Americans, but without solutions he would just join the ranks of those already in DC who are watching our nation’s economic decline. In contrast, Dr. Eck has outlined proven, workable solutions to provide health care and reduce spending. The contrast in a debate would not have been favorable for Mr. Lonegan. We still welcome any future opportunity to debate,” according to Campaign Manager Thomas Roberts.
That sounded like a sound political strategy on Lonegan’s part to me, given that Eck had only 9% name recognition and support from only 5% of registered voters in the last Quinnipiac poll. For the last week or so, Lonegan has been ignoring Eck and running a general election type campaign, focusing on Newark Mayor Cory Booker and this week, the mad scientist, “millions will die if we don’t tax carbon and make energy completely unaffordable,” Congressman Rush Holt.
Dr. Alieta Eck is not likely to be a U.S. Senator come October 17. She’s yet to choose a campaign manager for her primary race against Steve Lonegan in the August 13 special primary. She does not have a fundraising base nor the personal wealth to pay for a statewide campaign.
Lots of New Jerseyans lost personal wealth when Jon Corzine was governor. Eck told me she lost $200,000 to Corzine in the MF Global debacle. Fortunately she got $180,000 back, but that won’t fund a statewide primary or general election.
Based upon my interview with her, I don’t think she is quite ready to debate Lonegan, or the eventual Democratic nominee, most likely Cory Booker, on any issue other the healthcare, yet. But that could change. Eck is smart.
Now that she survived Steve Lonegan’s challenge to her petitions, it worth getting to know the political novice who was able to get 2,285 nominating signatures in three days, Dr. Alieta Eck. That was a task that was too much for many seasoned politicians.
From the looks of how the Special Election Senate race is shaping up, Newark Mayor Cory Booker is going to win in a landslide anyway. Booker has a huge lead over Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt in the independent polls for the Democratic nomination. Lonegan is within striking distance of Pallone, Holt and Oliver in the Monmouth University Poll released last Friday, but loses to Booker by 16 points.
The only hope for a Republican to win the Senate seat in October is for someone other than Booker to be the Democratic nominee or for Booker to be badly wounded, politically, in a bloody Democratic primary. That doesn’t look like it is going to happen.
So far, Pallone and Holt are playing nice. Pallone is sending out emails asking people to recruit their friends to ‘Like’ his facebook page and volunteer for his campaign. Holt is posting on facebook asking non-Democrats to change parties in order to vote for him in the primary. If Oliver is doing anything, we haven’t noticed.
No one is mentioning all the shootings in Newark this week, that, if they were happening in Marlboro or Newtown, CT would be making national news. No one is asking Booker for his travel schedule or where he spends his weekends. Pallone tried to make an issue of Booker’s relationship with Governor Chris Christie, but Democrats seem to like Christie more than they like Pallone. No one is making an issue of Booker’s relationship with Wall Street, because Wall Street is investing a ton of money in Newark.