By Ken Stone
James Veltmeyer, a surgeon critical of Obamacare especially after his wife’s rough experience with breast cancer treatment, has announced a second bid for Congress.
The Ecuador-born Republican, who heads the family health department at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, says he will challenge Democratic incumbent Scott Peters in the 52nd Congressional District.
In November 2016, the La Jolla resident lost to Rep. Susan Davis in the 53rd District by 34 percentage points.
“I have lived the American Dream and shared in America’s promise,” Veltmeyer told a GOP women’s gathering Saturday in Rancho Bernardo. “Coming to this country at age 11 after suffering homelessness and hardship in a distant land, I don’t just talk about poverty and injustice…I lived it!”
Veltmeyer, 49, calls himself a national leader in the battle for common-sense and affordable health care reform.
“From my struggles, I learned that the problems of the poor and downtrodden can’t be solved by another government program or more government coercion, but only through freedom, through opportunity, and through giving people the tools they need to succeed on their own,” he said.
In an unpublished column provided to Times of San Diego in March, Veltmeyer told of his wife Laura’s struggles with delays, costs and runarounds after being diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2015. The mother of a young son and daughter eventually had radical bilateral mastectomies.
Obamacare is “rationed care,” Veltmeyer said in the column. “The program emphasized the need to control rising health care spending even though the primary focus of the bill was to expand insurance coverage.
“Given those two opposing goals, it’s obvious that giving more people access to more insurance and mandating that insurance cover more services will result in more spending, not less. The only way Obamacare can accomplish its goals is through greater efficiencies by increasing profits to health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospital, etc. — at the expense of reducing adequate delivery of health care or through reductions in access to care or the quality of care to the American people.”
He outlined what he calls the Medical Association Membership health care reform plan, which “would restore the doctor-patient relationship by limiting the role of government and private insurance companies in the health care process.”
A graduate of UC San Diego and the Ross University School of Medicine, he completed his residency through the UC San Francisco system where he became chief, overseeing 36 doctors.
A member of the San Diego Critical Care Medical Group, Veltmeyer was named four times (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017) by his colleagues in the San Diego County Medical Society as a “physician of exceptional excellence.”
Calling Peters “an agent of the status quo,” Veltmeyer says he is embracing a platform of “Real Reform, Real Change and Real Opportunity.”
His platform also includes tax cuts for businesses and individuals, ending “job-killing” regulations, school choice, reforming the college loan program, and policies that help the homeless “get off the streets and into classrooms and jobs.”
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