Health care, abortion among hot topics at 6th Congressional District debate

Emergency room physician Rich McCormick says the way to make health care more affordable is not to expand government programs like Medicaid or clinics supported by Veterans Affairs.

Shrinking the size of government was among the conservative principles McCormick displayed during his debate Sunday with Democrat Bob Christian as part of the Atlanta Press Club’s Loudermilk-Young series. During the 30-minute event, McCormick also criticized diversity and inclusion initiatives within the U.S. military, accused Democrats of taking a turn toward Marxism and defended the state’s new election law.

McCormick also refused to say whether he still believes former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. In the past, McCormick has joined the majority of Republicans who have used conspiracy theories and misinformation to question the outcome of the race. He said Sunday that voters have moved on and so has he.

“I think we spend a lot of time on the 2020 elections and 2020 elections are over,” he said. “I’m not focused on the 2020 election. I’m focused on the next election when we take back the House and fix some wrongs.”

McCormick is the heavy favorite to win the seat in November. Georgia’s Republican leaders drew the seat in a way that moved it from a toss-up that could be won by either party to one that is likely to be won by a Republican.

McCormick also far outpaces Christian, a fellow military veteran, in fundraising. During the period between July 1 and Sept. 30, McCormick received $638,541 in campaign contributions compared to Christian’s $33,951.

McCormick ended the quarter with $320,001 in cash on hand, nearly eight times the $41,479 left in Christian’s account.

Christian’s platform is closely aligned with Democratic Party priorities like gun control, expanded access to health care and abortion rights.

McCormick said he supports Georgia’s abortion law, which bans procedures after fetal cardiac activity is detected with limited exceptions. He said the issue should be left up to states, casting doubt on whether he would support the 15-week abortion ban that some Republicans in Congress have proposed.

Christian said he would support a federal law backed by Democrats that protects abortion access.

“I believe that we need to codify Roe v Wade; it was the law of the land for 50 years,” he said. “And we need to make sure that we protect the integrity of women to be able to make their private decisions with their doctors and with their own families over their own health care and over their own bodies.”

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