Congressman David Valadao came to Sanger on Saturday to give a speech about small business issues at a public forum. A handful of protesters, however, had other ideas.
After his speech at Sanger Community Center, Valadao, R-Hanford, was met outside by Hanford residents who pressed him about potential changes to federal health care laws and why he has not held a town hall meeting, a criticism that has been leveled at numerous Republican congressmen.
Valadao countered that he has in fact appeared at public events, such as Saturday’s workshop. He accused Humberto Gomez Jr. of being “a paid operative.” But Gomez, a Democratic party official, noted that he lives in Valadao’s 21st Congressional District.
The Hanford residents asked Valadao why the GOP majority in Congress insists on repealing the Affordable Care Act and revising the amount of money budgeted for Medicare, which provides health care for low-income Americans.
The GOP proposal allows “a more free market approach, it puts more money in your pocket instead allowing the government to make the decision on what plans are approved for you,” Valadao responded. “It’s not a market decision, it’s a personal decision.”
Valadao said that Medicaid, which in California is known as Medi-Cal, is preventing people from taking higher-paying jobs because they don’t want to lose their eligibility for the program.
“I have people in your own group telling me that they are holding themselves back salary- and wage-wise because they wouldn’t be able to qualify for Medicaid,” he told the protesters.