Shasta junior Zachary Navarra asks Congressional candidate Cristina Osmeña a question. PHOTO CREDIT: Brian Bodestyne

Congressional Candidate Cristina Osmeña wants voters in the 14th district to know that her defining mark is her belief in fiscal conservativity. On Aug. 23, Ms. Osmeña walked into Shasta’s journalism classroom for a press-conference style interview.

Ms. Osmeña said she wants to downsize the government, particularly concerning social services. Ms. Osmeña said that Social Security can be left alone and that it can “self correct.” However, she stated that there is a “lot of fat in the system,”specifically referring to Medicare.

Shasta Freshman, Lyanna Reigne Cruzat is shown listening to Miss Osmena.

Medicare “needs an overhaul,” Ms. Osmena said. According to her, Medicare is adding “$600 billion - up to even a trillion” to the government deficit. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Service does state that Medicare spending is within the said range, at an estimated $672.1 billion in 2016. However, there are no estimates that go up to a trillion.

Ms. Osmeña claims that half of the Medicare deficit is being spent on people on end-of-life support. She continued by saying that there is “no political will” to address the problem.

As noted in an article for the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 8 out every 10 people who died last year were insured by Medicare, but only a quarter of Medicare spending is on people in their final year of living. According to Bill Fay at Debt.org, Medicare plans Parts A and B do cover end-of-life support such as hospice care for anyone who has six months or less to live; $55 billion was spent on patients in their last two months of living. Whether Ms. Osmeña was referring to this is unclear.

While Ms. Osmeña mainly talked about fiscal issues on a national scale, she wanted citizens of the 14th district to know that she will not forget about them. Ms. Osmeña also stated that she wants to secure more funding for this district and redistribute wealth.

As a freshman congressman, Ms. Osmeña says she would have minimal influence in Congress. However, she says, she wants to change that, and she is “determined” to get her way. “I can hold my own.”