Editor’s note: Next week, we hope to publish an interview with incumbent Dr. Raul Ruiz.
Kimberlin Brown Pelzer is the Republican challenger seeking to represent California’s 36th District, which includes the Hill, in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is hoping to turn the tables on Democratic incumbent Dr. Raul Ruiz, who upset the incumbent Republican in
Pelzer, who owns a design company and co-owns an avocado farm with her husband, is hoping her experience as a small business owner will sway voters in the district.
Pelzer was adamant that adequate healthcare was necessary for all, but she differs with Congressman Ruiz on how to provide it.
“As a business owner, my people were forced into the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to keep their doctors or programs,” she lamented. “Which is what we were promised!”
She feels that the Republican Party has been held accountable for the flaws in the ACA. Consequently, she has been meeting regularly with physicians and healthcare providers throughout the district to gain insight and suggestions on how to fix and improve the law.
From her perspective, if elected, she will seek legislation that “would make it easier [for doctors] to serve their patients.”
Pelzer will try to re-balance the power between insurance carriers and physicians. “Insurers have far too much sway in what doctors are allowed to do,” she stated. “Who knows better, the doctor who sees the person or the person on the phone miles away?”
The high deductibles also concern Pelzer. Too often, she sees her employees acting as though their health insurance is for catastrophes rather than normal and preventive care.
“With the $5,000 deductible, the average family won’t make that level,” she said.
The cost of medical care is growing because there are fewer doctors, Pelzer believes. Government regulations have discouraged students from entering the medical fields, she argued.
Although the Congressional Budget Office has warned of deficits for many years into the future, Pelzer supports the recent tax cuts. She believes CBO’s analysis is flawed; the data indicate the economy is growing.
“We have a strong economy and job market. This is the lowest unemployment in years and people are paying taxes,” Pelzer stated.
Nevertheless, she expressed concerned over the budget. In her opinion, there is still too much “wasteful spending.
“Many programs and their costs may have been good when initially improved, but Congress doesn’t get rid of things when they become outdated,” she said.
“I’m for legal immigration!” Pelzer stated. “That’s how my family came here.”
She favors greater border coverage and enforcement. While Pelzer acknowledges that 100 percent of illegal immigration cannot be prevented, more of it can be slowed down.
More importantly, she is concerned about the amount of drugs and women subject to sexual trafficking being smuggled into this country.
“The last checkpoint is in the Coachella Valley, but it’s the number one entry of illegal narcotics,” she said. “It’s frightening right through our district.
“While Ruiz says he is for securing the border, he votes against the wall,” Pelzer asserted. “It is not always what we say; his votes say something different.”
Pelzer did tour the Cranston Fire burn area and attended a community meeting in Anza. Her staff brought donations to the emergency shelter in Banning during the fire.
“I think Cal Fire and the Forest Service are doing the best they can with what they are given,” Pelzer said. After her tour and discussions with fire officials, she would try to increase funding for more fuel reductions, removal of brush and dead timber.
When asked if she felt that national issues, such as the Middle East or Judge Brett Kavanaugh, were affecting the local race, Pelzer replied, “They may at one level. People are frustrated on both sides of the aisle.”
Consequently, the anger and attacks are creating a sense of chaos that succeeds on both sides. “They take it back to elected officials,” she lamented.
Pelzer is not a career politician. She is an actor and business owner, but she said the campaign has definitely affected her life. “The verbal assaults are astronomical.”
And yet, she remains optimistic about the election results. “Our polling numbers suggest this could be the district that is the number one upset,” she claimed.
The Desert Sun and NBC Palm Springs will co-host a debate from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, between Pelzer and Ruiz.