Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her challenger Dave Wilson finished their election debate season Monday with a forum at KSPS Public Television.
Among the issues they discussed was health care and the possibility that the Supreme Court could rule the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.
The candidates were asked what they would include as part of a new health care proposal.
“Health care should be a right, not a privilege, and we should have every person in this country covered. We don’t. I think the ACA was a step in the right direction. If it’s not overturned, I think we need to continue to build on it. I would like to point out that my opponent has voted to repeal the ACA over 60 times," Wilson said.
McMorris Rodgers counters that the ACA has not fulfilled the promises made about it. She says health care costs have, in general, not decreased and 20 million people still do not have access to health care.
“I think we need to continue to focus on how do we insure that people have access to quality and affordable health care," McMorris Rodgers said. "Absolutely, we must protect those with pre-existing conditions. That should not be in question at all and Republicans and Democrats agree on this. President Trump has passed an executive order to make it clear that those with pre-existing conditions would be protected. In the House we would like to pass that bill, but the Democrats seem to want to have a talking point rather than getting that done.”
The candidates also answered questions about the federal response to the coronavirus, the federal deficit and wildfires.
McMorris Rodgers was asked to cite an example of an issue in which she differed publicly with the president.
“Under the Article One provision of the power of the purse, when he was moving money within the administration, within the federal government, that I thought required, and I still believe today, it requires Congressional approval. We exercise the power of the purse. That’s how we, on behalf of the people, make sure that the priorities of the people, through their elected representatives, are reflected in their government," she said.
Wilson was asked to cite one issue in which he agreed with the president.
“Congress did an excellent job getting the pandemic relief, the first big pandemic relief bill, passed and the president signed it. That was very important. It needed to be done. It was done in a quick and timely fashion and so, kudos to them for that. Now we just need to do it again," he said.
McMorris Rodgers says she also supports another pandemic relief bill with liability protections for institutions and companies that could be sued for Covid-related negligence.
The debate aired Monday night at 7 on KSPS. It will air on the radio Wednesday at 6 pm on KSFC and Thursday at noon on KPBX.