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Congressional Candidates Battle Over Health Care and Benefits

John Arvanites, Rodney Frelinghuysen address issues for residents of the newly redrawn 11th Congressional District.

The candidates for the 11th Congressional District went head to head on health care reform, veterans’ benefits, and equal pay for women at an hourlong debate at William Paterson University Wednesday.

Nine-term Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen has represented the district since 1995. He is a member of the House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee.

John Arvanites, the son of Greek immigrants, is the former mayor of Roseland, said the newly configured district needs change, the Daily Record reported. He is a certified public accountant.

“I will not be a career congressperson,” Arvanites said. “I believe in getting there, coming up with solutions, and moving on.”

The Democrat said that he does not consider himself a liberal but someone who cooperates with others to get things done, NJ.com reported.

Frelinghuysen said that while he does not identify with the Tea Party he said he was respectful of the way it encourages people to closely examine how the government spends money.

Flooding

Speaking of flooding in the Passaic River Basin, Frelinghuysen said that solutions to the problem must be “bipartisan,” NorthJersey.com reported.

Arvanites backs the proposed tunnel that would take floodwater out of the basin and into Newark Bay.

“I will not be a career congressperson,” Arvanites said. “I believe in getting there, coming up with solutions, and moving on.”

Health Care

Arvanities said he supports Obamacare, citing the Affordable Acre Act, which allows children to remain on their parents’ insurance plan longer, NJ.com reported.

Frelinghuysen said he supports some aspects of the legislation but said, “I don’t think we need a Washington-imposed solution,” and that it puts too much of a burden on small businesses.

Arvanities criticized his opponents’ voting record on veterans’ benefits and for voting down legislation regarding equalizing pay for women in the workplace.

Social Security is a “special pact between those of us who pay into it and the return and support that comes out of it on the other end,” NJ.com quoted Frelinghuysen saying.

He said that Congress should look at whether new United States residents should be allowed to quality for the program since they haven’t paid into it yet.

Arvanites also pushed for reform, but said the idea of increasing the retirement age or capping contributions should be considered.

War

Both candidates agreed that Americans are tired of war.

“I’m happy we’re out of Iraq. I’ll be happy when we’re out of Afghanistan, but we need to make sure as we depart we leave some sort of a structure,” dailyrecord.com reported.

Arvanites said Congress funded those two wars with money it did not have and that Frelinghuysen supported them.

Richard Dean October 19, 2012 at 01:25 AM
The 20,000 page health care bill has good points and bad points. One bad point is the requirement for the employers to pay for health care benefits to all who work over 28 hours weekly even if the employee already has them from another source. As a result there are many who have those benefis from retirement packages, spouses, or are children below age 6 who work part time while going to school. Prior to this bill the part timers could work a lot more hours so now it is having a bad effect on those just wanting to supplement their income.
Richard Dean October 19, 2012 at 01:27 AM
BTW, some if not many employers are now limiting the part time workers to only 25 hours weekly in order that they do not chance going over that 28 hour limit because the fines are quite hefty.
Henry Krinkle October 19, 2012 at 09:44 AM
With all due respect, Rodney Frelinghuysen is so out of touch with the plight of working class people that it is downright scary. He really should retire from politics while he can still make a disgraceful, I mean graceful exit.
Flo Gallo October 19, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Time for Rodney to get back into reality...these career politicians have to go...
Maxim Sapozhnikov October 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Ol' Rodney is no God's gift but he sure beats the alternative. We need another faithful brown-nose for Obama in the Congress like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask.
Lulu October 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM
I agree, Rodney lost touch with the people a LONG time ago. Mr. Arvanites is an advocate of education and women's rights. We need him to bring the 11th district back to the people.
Prentiss Gray October 19, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I wonder if anyone asked the Congressman if he supports the part of the Affordable care act that makes Congress use the same insurance exchanges that we all will have to. By the way, a Republican congressman slipped that stipulation in, good for him.
Meredith Mascitello October 19, 2012 at 04:52 PM
While it would be nice to have new blood in DC, I cannot vote for someone who supports Obamacare. This is yet another massive program which will bankrupt the nation and, more importantly, give D.C. ultimate control over our health care. If you don't like the control the insurance companies have, why on Earth would you want to give that control to the government? We need reforms that put healthcare back into the hands of the patient and doctor.
Dan Grant October 19, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Are you kidding? Unless you the patient pay the Doctor directly you turn over your care to someone else. do you have $200 thousand laying around for cancer or heart surgery? The insurance companies control what Doctor you can see, when you can see a specialist, what drugs they will cover and you need pre-approval for many types of surgeries. You real choice is between a Government that does not make a profit and an insuruance company that has to. It is why Government run Medicare has worked for 50 years or so. It isn't a hard concept to understand unless you are a conservative. St Clares has been bought out inlarge measure by a hedgefund and will be for profit shortly. That means as a for profit they don't have to take charity care. It is interesting that under the old system a hospital in one of the richest counties in America with the highest proportion of insured can't make money.
Maxim Sapozhnikov October 19, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Dan, the most important difference is that one can choose one's insurance company, but not one's government. I understand that the "freedom of choice" concept is too advanced for you to comprehend, but other people prefer to make informed decisions, particularly when their health is at stake. "ObamaCare - efficiency of the USPS, compassion of the IRS".
Dan Grant October 19, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Max, if it is employer based that you can't choose your company now and never could. The Company chose for you so that is a myth and they chose based on the costs they wanted to pay for it. Obamacare does give you choices especially if you are of lower income.
Maxim Sapozhnikov October 19, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Dan, you have been sucking on the public teat for such a long time that likely forgot what real employment means. My employer offers THREE different plans - and if I don't like either, I can get myself another employer. Now, feel free to elaborate on your lie about Obamacare giving a choice...
Dan Grant October 19, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Good old Max, it is always about what he has and never what others don't have or can't get. The shame of it is that you are in this Country at all. You have no idea what I have or don't have but the public doesn't pay for anything I didn't pay for first. I pay for my wifes insurance and have paid for my own and my families most of my life as I was self employed for most of that time. I paid social security at double the rate you pay for the same reason. People should know that you and I have been in the same room on occasion where I have been speaking and for all your insults as a keyboard cowboy you have never had the nerve to approach me. You are a coward.
Maxim Sapozhnikov October 19, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Why on Earth would I, or anyone else, want to approach you, Dan? Between your Obama worship and advanced age issues, you're not worth a mouthful of warm spit. It's a shame they can't ship you to Cuba or North Korea where people like you belong.
Dan Grant October 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Are you even here legally Max? Not that I care particularly but you seem to tear down everything you post about and I would think you just might be happier back where you came from.
EUGENE CORNO JR October 20, 2012 at 11:47 AM
I'm with you Max... The alternative would be worse....
EUGENE CORNO JR October 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM
No worry the UN-affordable Healthcare Act. IS GOING TO BE REPEALED!!!!!
EUGENE CORNO JR October 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Ms. Mascitello, you are 100% correct about the cost of this of this massive program which we all know will FAIL BECAUSE OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INTRUSION!!! Healthcare should NOT, repeat be handled by the federal government. This must be a state by state issue.... GET THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF HEALTHCARE ALL TOGETHER, THAT SHOULD BE OUR GOAL!!! REPEAL OBAMACARE TOTALLY!!!
Maxim Sapozhnikov October 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Are you accusing me of breaking the law, Dan? My attorney would be happy to meet yours.
joe October 20, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Dan,you are right on the money with this idiot..He will never come to a public event I have asked him countless times to come to a school board meeting and this jerk always has a excuse..he should go back where he came from or come to public events to shoot off his big mouth and stop hiding....IDIOT
Maxim Sapozhnikov October 20, 2012 at 08:07 PM
"Joe", listening to your endless circle jerk of brotherly union love that every school board inevitably turns into is not my idea of time well spent.
Richard E. Templin October 21, 2012 at 10:44 PM
The campaigns are starting to get some media out. Here is Mayor Arvanites newest commercial http://youtu.be/PE2oZQAEsV8 Here is some coverage on their debates http://youtu.be/5PDCTyxiiAo
Dan Fusco October 26, 2012 at 12:17 AM
I agree

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