4th District congressman’s office target of Medicare voucher protest

McClintock’s Granite Bay office closed for Columbus Day holiday
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock had closed his Granite Bay office Monday for a federal Columbus Day holiday. But that didn’t stop an estimated 75 sign-toting, slogan-chanting protesters from marching there to express their discontentment over the 4th District Republican congressman’s stance supporting healthcare vouchers. McClintock’s oft-voiced support of the voucher system espoused by GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan is no secret. McClintock couldn’t be reached for comment Monday but has stated that Medicare is “out of control” and driving a collapse of the U.S. economy unless changes are made. On Monday, the signs and chants reflected an opposing viewpoint by people who want to continue the current Medicare system and not be dependent on voucher payments to fund their healthcare. There were also several signs supporting McClintock’s Democratic challenger Jack Uppal. Uppal (pronounced Oo-pull) took part in the march, made a short speech outside McClintock’s office at the Auburn Folsom Road-Douglas Boulevard crossroads, and delivered a list of demands that – because the district office was closed and no-one was there – were tucked underneath the door. Several of the protesters had car-pooled to the rally from Auburn. Auburn’s Kathryn Kratzer-Yue said that at an age when she’s getting Medicare and dealing with a pre-existing condition, she wants to system to be retained. “I think Tom McClintock is just wrong about Medicare,” Kratzer-Yue said. “Vouchers are not going to work. I paid into Medicare and it’s a good program. They have to be a little more creative in lowering the debt. What about cutting military spending and getting out of Afghanistan?” Al Sharief came from Lincoln to support the anti-voucher rally. “I believe in Medicare and I believe McClintock is a danger to Medicare,” Sharief said. Uppal said the event wasn’t organized by his election committee and “we welcomed all campaigns to join us.” “The office was closed but even if it wasn’t I’m not so sure we would have a friendly ear,” Uppal said. “He needs to hear from his district that it should be ‘hands off’ for Medicare.”