GOP runoff candidates Mullin, Faught spar over 'single payer' comment
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Friday, July 06, 2012
7/06/12 at 5:16 AM
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BROKEN ARROW - Republican 2nd Congressional District runoff opponents Markwayne Mullin and George Faught continued to tussle Thursday over something said by Mullin last August and used by Faught in a recent campaign spot.
The setting this time was Mullin's Broken Arrow plumbing business, where a representative for Faught showed up to hand out a statement from Faught after Mullin essentially called Faught a liar at a Thursday afternoon press conference.
Mullin's campaign team eventually shooed the Faught operative off the grounds, but not before he'd passed around copies of Faught's statement.
At issue is Mullin's use of the term "single payer" during a discussion of health insurance and health-care reform last August. On video and audio released separately by the two campaigns, Mullin says, "To fix the issue, you know, I think the single-payer, single-pay system would be the best."
Mullin goes on to say everyone should pay something for health care, that businesses should not have to pay more, and that he would depend on the "professional field" for advice.
Faught's campaign began using the "single payer" comment to link Mullin to President Barack Obama and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, coined Obamacare by opponents.
Thursday, Mullin said he misused the term "single payer" last summer and at the time thought it meant more or less the same as self-pay.
As generally understood, the term single payer means all medical payments come through a single source, usually a government entity. Probably the single-payer system Americans are most familiar with is Medicare.
Mullin said Thursday that Faught's use of the faux pas to link him to Obama's health-care reform initiative is dishonest.
"George knows and had heard me say countless times that one of the main reasons I'm running is because Obamacare deals a severe blow to my business," Mullin said. "To suggest I have the opposite position is just a plain and simple lie."
"Mullin says he was taken out of context," Faught said in the statement handed out after Mullin's press conference. "In what context would a conservative ever say he is for single payer?"
Faught's statement says his campaign has posted video of the comments in question on its website and reiterated the three-term state representative's claim to being the only "proven conservative" of the two.
Interestingly enough, the system laid out by the Affordable Care Act is not single-payer. In fact, the basic structure was first proposed by Republicans in the 1990s as an alternative to the single-payer plan being pushed by the Clinton administration. Ironically, it was defeated mostly by Democrats.
Original Print Headline: Runoff candidates still at odds over comment
Randy Krehbiel 918-581-8365
Markwayne Mullin (left) and George Faught: Mullin said he wasn't clear on what the term means regarding health care and that Faught's use of the faux pas to link him to "Obamacare" is dishonest