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Senate hopeful Pierpont has health-care proposal

August 13, 1998|By GUY FLETCHER

You can say this about Ross Z. Pierpont - he isn't one to give up easily.

Having sought election to local, state and federal offices in Maryland 13 times over the past 32 years - and having been defeated 13 times - the retired surgeon from Baltimore County is hitting the campaign trail once again in a bid for a U.S. Senate seat.

"I wasn't going to do anything this time, but this election is too important," said Pierpont, 80, a Republican.

It's too important this time, he said, because the nation is teetering on a governmental crisis. He cited the problems facing President Clinton and the 1994 gubernatorial election, which Pierpont maintains was "stolen" by the Democrats from GOP candidate Ellen R. Sauerbrey.

"The Democrats have become irresponsible," he said.

Pierpont is among 10 Republicans seeking the party's nomination to the Senate seat held by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md. Mikulski faces three Democrats in her party's primary election.

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The centerpiece of Pierpont's campaign is his solution to the nation's health-care problem. Modeled after Germany's 115-year-old national health-care system, Pierpont said his plan would reduce paperwork, cut administrative costs and provide better care.

The system is an alternative to existing federal health-care systems like Medicare and Medicaid, which Pierpont said have become overburdened with micromanagement and overhead.

He placed the blame for their failure on the Democrats, citing Clinton's failed attempt to nationalize health care through new government agencies.

"They want a bureaucracy to control everything," he said.

Pierpont said Mikulski is merely an extension of Clinton and the Democratic Party.

"She's part of the establishment," he said.

The primary election is Sept. 15. The general election is Nov. 3. Members of the U.S. Senate make $136,700 a year.

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