2nd Congressional District Candidates Tackle Health Care, Public Lands During Debate
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The three candidates for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District squared off on the debate stage Monday, discussing health care, public lands and stimulus payments.
Republican incumbent Chris Stewart is seeking re-election in a race against Democratic candidate and former state department official Kael Weston, and Libertarian candidate Robert Latham, a St. George attorney.
When asked about health care, Stewart said he would continue efforts to repeal the affordable care act.
“It was not just repeal. It was repeal and replace,” Stewart said. “In every single case I had a plan, the Republicans had a plan that would, for example, protect those with pre-existing conditions.”
Should #AffordableCareAct be repealed?@StewartforUtah: Yes. “I know how bad it is" & would replace to lower costs@KaelWeston: Disagrees, says regular folks don't have same quality of care as #Congress @freeutahns: Doesn't want to limit selection, wants wide range of options pic.twitter.com/C7NMFcBiqr
— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) October 20, 2020
“The Affordable Care Act became popular,” Weston said. “And suddenly when it became popular, kids with pre-existing conditions, cancer, the Republicans suddenly panicked, and they said, ‘oops. we need to pretend like we are for pre-existing conditions.'”
“I don’t want a limited selection of choices. I want a wide range of choices,” Latham said. “I don’t want the shortages and rationing that comes with any socialized service. I want to liberate health care from the politicians and the bureaucrats.”>
Public Lands are also a big topic in the district, which covers large portions of southern Utah. KSL’s Ladd Egan specifically asked about Stewart’s bill that’s seeking to create a sixth national park in Utah, proposed as the Escalante Canyons National Park.
What is the federal government’s role in responding to the #pandemic? @freeutahns: feds have no role and interfered with healthcare professionals. @StewartforUtah: fed govt has important role and acted quickly. @KaelWeston: Trump admin played games with people's health #utdebates pic.twitter.com/SURvIvP1kJ
— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) October 20, 2020
“I don’t see why we in Utah can’t manage our own lands just as well, if not better, than the federal government,” Latham said. “So I would prefer a solution that’s more locally based rather than managed by folks back in Washington D.C.”
“We want to protect this land,” Stewart said. “It’s a way to do it in a way that allows for some state and local input. Why would someone oppose that? I just don’t really understand that.”
“These national lands cannot be handed over to county commissioners,” Weston said. “Nothing against county commissioners per se, but these are national assets, these are for all Americans, whether someone’s in Maine or California.”
On the topic of whether there should be more stimulus payments to Americans, Latham said he’s concerned about the national debt, Stewart said he supports more stimulus but not Democrats’ wish list, and Weston said relief shouldn’t be held up any longer and that Congress needs to help people.
You can watch the entire debate below:
LIVE: KSL hosts the debate between 2nd Congressional District candidates, Democrat Kael Weston, Republican Chris Stewart & Libertarian J. Robert Latham.
Posted by KSL 5 TV on Monday, October 19, 2020
The final local debate will take place on Wednesday between the two candidates for Utah Attorney General.
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