Kathy Castor faces Tiger Bay Club
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02/12/10 Tom Baur
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

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Kathy Castor, Congress member for Florida’s 11th District, spoke this afternoon at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, at the Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater.

Standing before more than 80 members of the Tiger Bay club, two-term Democratic Representative Castor claimed the Reinvestment and Recovery program is creating jobs and helping cash-strapped Americans not lose their homes to foreclosure.

So in response to the unparalleled economic crisis of our generation, the recovery act aims to create and save three and a half million jobs targeted at the emergency period which is designated to end by the fall of 2010. It is the shot in the arm, or the shock to the system, that was provided to address the heart attack that our country went through in the economic collapse of the past year.

Dr. David McKalip asked if Castor supports plans that would penalize doctors financially if they spend money on their patients merely to save money for the insurance companies and government.

Jobi Helsen took home the Fang and Claw Award for the most challenging question of the day.

I’m Jobi Helsen. I own a boat yard. I had 20 employees 2 years ago and I have 8 today. So here’s the question: there are millions of unemployed and most small businesses struggling to survive, but all the privilege and benefits that congress has, whether it be republicans or democrats, does any in congress have empathy for these people, and would they be willing to take a ten percent cut in pay, and pay more towards their own health care.

Castor said that she would gladly give up 10% of her congressional salary. She also said that each year she returns a significant portion of her congressional budget to the treasury. She added that she has her own healthcare insurance and does not use the congressional insurance available to her.

The five largest health insurance companies have racked up combined profits of $12.2 billion — up 56 percent over 2008.

It’s the best evidence that we’ve got to keep fighting for healthcare reform for our families and businesses, and it is a particularly important issue to Florida and Florida families and the folks who are paying insurance. One of the reasons they’re paying more is because we have so many people in Florida that do not have health insurance, folks that have it are having to pay extra for folks who do not. And that is going to continue to be a liability on our economy and our businesses unless we get it under control. There’s no reason for these insurance companies to be cherry picking, you know, covering healthy people so that they can bank the profits. We need a more sane system and we need meaningful insurance for our families so that when they pay the premium they know they’re not going to be cancelled.

On February 27, Castor is planning to help her constituents take advantage of the new tax cuts and credits available under the Recovery Act.

Yes under President Obama’s recovery act there are significant new tax credits avail to families. So we want to help them fill out their taxes so that they get that money right back in their pocket. Also student financial aid, we have some experts that will be on site willing to work with families to fill out that financial aid form. I suggest they go to our website castor.house.gov for all the details on the upcoming workshop.

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