The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked the top contenders in the 6th Congressional District special election, based on public polling, how they would approach several issues facing the district and the country today. Here are their answers:
Does the federal government have a role in making sure Americans have health insurance? If so, what would you do to replace or improve the Affordable Care Act?
Bob Gray: The U.S. Constitution, as the governing legal document for the country, does not establish health care as a right. Further, given the design of the Constitution, which specifies that all powers not delegated by the people to the states cannot be delegated to the federal government. Thus, this is an issue for the states, not the federal government, to address.
Big government always makes things more complicated than it needs to be for the American people. I support a full repeal of Obamacare and a return to free-market principles to implement a cost-effective approach to health care. In every industry where we’ve adopted free market always; we see more competition, more choice, greater innovation, lower prices and improved quality. We should model health care after automotive insurance, where individuals pay out of pocket for their “day-to-day” expenses and buy insurance for chronic disease and catastrophic injury.
Karen Handel: It is not the federal government’s role to dictate health care choices and decisions to Americans. Americans need a stable, affordable health care system that is market-driven and patient-centered. Congress needs to repeal and replace Obamacare before the entire program collapses, leaving tens of millions of us in jeopardy. The recent bill in Congress, although not perfect, would have been a first step forward for the American people.
Judson Hill: Federal mandates drive up the cost of coverage, and the best way for the federal government to help families get affordable coverage and access to health care is to allow for more flexibility. Obamacare is failing, and the best reforms would increase competition by allowing people to buy insurance across state lines and remove coverage mandates. One of the best ways to lower health care costs is to promote healthy living through wellness incentives.
Dan Moody: Obamacare is not working. Its mandates are job killers, it costs too much and it forces people to buy a product that many of them do not want. Its replacement has to focus on improving patient care and doctor/patient relationships and reducing costs and not creating a massive government bureaucracy. Government almost never works better or more cost-efficiently than the private sector.
Jon Ossoff: It’s time to move beyond the 7-year-old partisan debate over the Affordable Care Act. I will work with anyone to promote a health care policy that serves three basic principles: One, no American should suffer or die from preventable or treatable illness. Two, no one should go broke because they get sick. And three, no business should go under or lay off employees because it can’t keep up with health insurance premiums. In Congress, I’ll work in a bipartisan way so Americans have more choices at better prices with higher quality care. For example, we can increase competition in the insurance market across state lines, offer small business tax credits, and repeal the medical device tax.
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