Dyker Heights

Grimm, Recchia spar over Obamacare

Congressman calls opponent a 'phony baloney'

December 4, 2013 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act is the latest bone of contention between U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm and Councilman Domenic Recchia, the man who plans on running against the congressman next November.

Calling the Obama Administration and progressives “completely misguided” on the health care law, Grimm (R-C-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Staten Island) also took a swipe at Recchia, calling his prospective opponent “a phony baloney” who is telling residents what they want to hear, rather than telling them the truth.

“They’re rearranging deck chairs as the Titanic is sinking – trying to make the ship look pretty, instead of getting people into lifeboats. Even more outrageous than Obamacare’s flaws is the hypocrisy from the left. Where is the ACLU fighting to protect the identity of those signing up on the unsecured website? Where is the outrage from the far left? If this were an NSA program to fight terrorism, groups would be out in full force protesting around the country,” Grimm said.

“It also begs the question, where is my phony baloney opponent on the issue? Domenic Recchia has been parading around spewing out regurgitated DCCC talking points, telling people what they want to hear, instead of talking to the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn who are losing their coverage, doctors, and their businesses on account of Obamacare,” Grimm said, blasting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee along with his opponent.

Recchia’s campaign spokeswoman, Ashleigh Owens, fired back.

“Michael Grimm’s childish name-calling behavior reflects the sad lack of leadership we have in congress today and is exactly why people want change and someone to represent them who is focused on delivering commonsense solutions to our problems,” she told Politicker.com.

“Instead of voting over 40 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and sending us back to a time when insurance companies held all the cards and would deny people with pre-existing conditions coverage, let’s talk about how we can improve the law to work for everyone. Instead, of being the “Party of No” that throws temper tantrums and uses insults from the 1950s, let’s talk about the future and what matters to New Yorkers like how we’re going to create jobs, offer comprehensive immigration reform, and end gun violence in this country,” Owens told Politicker.

Owens sent the Brooklyn Daily Eagle a statement from the councilman defending the Affordable Care Act.

“Like most Americans, I was dismayed and incredibly frustrated by the glitches that occurred with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act website. They were, frankly, inexcusable. What’s more, I think that the president and this congress should work together to honor the promise that was made to Americans regarding their ability to keep their healthcare coverage after ACA was implemented,” Recchia (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) said.

“All of that being said, I think it’s important for us to have leadership in congress that is focused on finding commonsense solutions to these problems. Michael Grimm and the radical Tea Party have voted over 40 times to send us back to a time when insurance companies held all the cards, could deny coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and drop your coverage the minute you needed it. To me, that is a step in the wrong direction. In congress, I’m going to focus on how we can amend and improve the ACA to work better for everyone,” Recchia said.

But Grimm stuck to his guns. “If the far left was truly on board with protecting the American people, they’d be a lot more vocal on Obamacare’s fundamental flaws, rather than keeping quiet to protect their own political interests,” he said.

Recchia, who is term-limited and will leave office on Dec. 31, announced several months ago that he will challenge Grimm, a two-term congressman, in the November, 2014 election.

Grimm represents the 11th Congressional District, which covers all of Staten Island, Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, and includes parts of Bensonhurst and Gravesend.

Politicker reported that Democratic Party strategists have targeted Grimm in the 2014 midterm elections.

Grimm and Recchia have spent the past few months battling each other over Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, poll numbers, and other issues.





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