Health care was among the issues discussed at a debate held by the League of Women Voters, St Andrews Lutheran Church in Wichita, Wednesday Evening. As with so many races around the country, Republicans have made an issue of Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Most Republicans have ridiculed the act or treated it as a disaster.
The debate was between Democrat John Carmichael and Republican Jeremy Alessi for Kansas State Representative in the 92nd district.
“We’ve paid for Obamacare,” Carmichael said. “Yet (Sam) Brownback sent all the money for it back. We paid for it, but we didn’t get any benefits for it.”
Carmichael was talking about a $ 31 million Early Innovator Grant made available to the State of Kansas under the new federal health care law. Brownback sent the money back complaining that he didn’t want any federal “strings attached” to federal dollars for the Affordable health Care act which he had no intentions of using or implementing.
Alessi said he had his own plan for dealing with the uninsured here in Kansas.
“Once I’m in office, I will see what is there,” he said. “I won’t leave people out in the rain.”
Carmichael also criticized Brownback for not expanding Medicaid as President Barack Obama has encouraged state governors or legislators to do. He said that Brownback’s KanCare program was a failure with payments being late and some people not getting the health services they need.
“Now he wants to control of Medicare,” Carmichael said. “He’s proven he can’t take care of Medicaid.”
In other health care related topics Alessi made it clear he was pro-life. Carmichael said he favored safe and legal abortions, especially in the case of rape and incest. Carmichael criticized Alessi for getting support from Troy Newman and Operation Rescue.
“They employ Cheryl Sullenger, a convicted clinic bomber,” Carmichael said.
“I do not support using violence,” Alessi said.
When discussing the environment, Alessi said he wanted to use dredging in lake reservoirs, while Carmichael said he didn’t think dredging the reservoirs would work. He also opposed the idea of dredging in streams.
Alessi had the disadvantage of having a mostly liberal audience and at times he seemed as if he was evading answers for some of the questions. For the most part the two candidates spoke along party lines on the issues, including Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s new voting laws which Carmichael compared to “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”