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McClintock defends vote

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In a Nov. 8 letter, James Shaw of Rocklin calls me an “extremist” because I was one of 18 members of the House who voted “against stopping Medicare premium increases.” Here’s the rest of the story. Last year, the cost of living adjustment for Social Security did not rise as fast as the premium increase for Medicare part B. As a result, some Medicare beneficiaries (principally those individuals earning over $85,000 or couples earning over $170,000) will see Medicare cost rise between $6 and $16 per month. HR 3631 would reach into the pockets of working families (about $37 for an average family of four) to pay the difference for these high-income seniors. Among the 17 “extremists” who joined me in opposing the measure was Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who pointed out that Ross Perot and members of Congress covered by Medicare would have their premiums protected at the expense of families struggling to get by. Tom McClintock, U.S. Representative, 4th District, California