Arizona Democrat Richard Carmona is distancing himself from national Democrats on health care reform in his campaign for Senate. In a new ad, Carmona strikes an independent note.
“Republicans and Democrats both got it wrong,” Carmona, a surgeon general under President George W. Bush, says in the ad. “We’ve got to make health care affordable for small business and working families — through innovation and preventive care, while also cutting waste and fraud.”
The Carmona campaign said that Carmona’s criticism is aimed at improving health care reform, not repealing it.
“What he believes that Democrats got wrong on health care was the business plan,” said Andy Barr, spokesman for the Carmona campaign. “We haven’t focused on prevention in order to cut down on chronic disease and reduce costs, which is what contributes to 75 percent of what we spend on health care, according to the CDC.”
Barr said Carmona would support changes to the law. “He thinks the law as it stands now is a good first step, but there’s a lot of progress we need to make.”
Barr said the ad does not amount to an effort by Carmona to distance himself from national Democrats in a red state.
“This is an effort by Dr. Carmona to say what he thinks about this. “He’s a former surgeon general of the United States, He’s a doctor, he’s a trauma surgeon. So he has the authority on this to speak on his own.”