Chantal M. Lovell, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/22/2010 07:09:10 AM PDT

REDLANDS – Don Kurth, a Republican candidate for the state Assembly seat in the 63rd District, took a public stand Friday against an HMO attack campaign launched against him.

Kurth said he would fight the for-profit HMOs in Sacramento and told voters to do the same.

“I urge local residents to tell the Sacramento HMO lobby to keep their dirty hands off our assembly district,” Kurth said. “It’s time for us to take our state back by saying `no’ to the Sacramento HMO lobby campaign tactics.”

Kurth held his news conference at Arrowhead Orthopaedics in Redlands to lash out against print and radio ads published by what he called “big for-profit HMO companies.”

The ads are paid for by an independent expenditure committee sponsored by the California Civil Justice Association and mostly funded by HMOs, Kurth said.

“These HMOs are trying to deceive the public about the nature of their campaign by using a committee that is `sponsored’ by the California Civil Justice Association,” Kurth said.

According to a late independent expenditure report from May 6, Anthem Blue Cross of California and Blue Shield of California each donated $49,000 to the campaign against Kurth. The California Association of Health Plans PAC and Health Net Inc. each donated $25,000. None could be reached for or would comment.

Kurth said the claims that he has unpaid bills and has not paid taxes are “blatantly false,” and said the ads mention lawsuits he was involved with but fail to mention he won.

He said it is sad the HMOs are trying to keep him out of Sacramento and are only doing so in fear of what he would do if elected.

“They know that I won’t let them pull their shenanigans,” Kurth said. “They know that I’ll try to increase care and access for patients and make sure that the patients of California are provided with the benefits and care they deserve.”

Kurth said he opposes “Obamacare,” but supports increasing access to health care.

“The next step for us is to implement it in California in a way that makes sense for the patient and make sure patients are provided with the care they are promised,” Kurth said.

Doctor Nabil Razzouk, chief executive officer of Arrowhead Orthopaedics, said the fact that the HMOs have gone to such a length to fight Kurth is proof he is a doer.

“The local medical community is united in support of Dr. Kurth for state assembly,” Razzouk said. “He would be an effective advocate both for patients and medical professionals at the state capital. He understands our concern and we know he will fight for quality, affordable, private health care.”

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