DENVER (AP) — Candidates from opposing parties in a Colorado congressional swing district are taking unusual positions on the divisive federal health care law, highlighting that both parties have to make strong efforts to court independent voters.
Republican Rep. Scott Tipton joined his party Wednesday in voting to repeal the federal health care law. But The Durango Herald reported Thursday (http://goo.gl/a3VNY) there are parts of the law Tipton likes, including prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing illnesses and allowing children to be covered under their parents' policy until age 26.
Democratic candidate Sal Pace said he likes much of the federal health care law but opposes the individual mandate. But the provision requiring all Americans to buy health insurance is what makes the law work, supporters say.
The mostly rural 3rd Congressional District spanning southern and western Colorado is always an attractive target for both parties because it's made up of a nearly equal split among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters. Democrats and Republicans have both held the seat over the years.
Even though Tipton said he likes parts of the law, he thinks it should be scrapped.
"I believe that there are better solutions to reform health care in this country that should include a market-driven approach that encourages competition and empowers states to expand pools to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions ..." he said.
House Republicans have voted more than 30 times to repeal the health care law, but this week was the first vote since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of it, including the individual mandate.
"I've stated my concerns with the health care law, but this vote is nothing more than an attempt to score partisan political points," Pace told The Durango Herald in an email.
His campaign said he believes Congress could have found other ways to expand health insurance coverage, such as tax credits, without penalizing people for not buying plans.
Tipton's campaign, meanwhile, has been critical of Pace on the health care law, accusing him of not taking a firm stance.
Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com