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Sixth District candidates discuss health care plans

October 17, 2008

As part of this month's coverage of the Nov. 4 election for Maryland's 6th District seat in Congress, The Herald-Mail asked the three candidates to respond in up to 100 words to a few questions about issues.

The first question is: What health care plan do you support and why?

U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Republican: America has a very expensive sick care system. I support changes so we can have the best health care system by improving the quality of our health care and reducing our costs. Most Americans trust themselves and their families and their doctors much more than government bureaucrats or health insurance companies to care about and best meet their health care needs and improve their quality of life. That is why I support policies that give patients and doctors more choices and more control over health care decisions. That is why I oppose government-run single-payer health care.

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Jennifer Dougherty, Democrat: I support health care coverage for all Americans within five years. Important components: Plan Choice - people can stay in their existing plans or buy a plan similar to plans available to federal employees; Patient Choice - people choose their own doctors; No Exclusions - people cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions; Portable - covers care across state lines; Focus on Health - disease prevention and management; Mental Health Coverage included.

I support a phased implementation that will cover all children first. I support allowing 18- to 24-year-olds to stay on family plans and allowing young retirees (55+) to buy into Medicare.

Gary W. Hoover Sr., Libertarian: I am not in favor of mandating health insurance coverage for all. I believe we need to make health care affordable so that those that want health insurance can afford health insurance. I believe we need to open up the plan the government offers to Congress and government employees to all of us, which would create a larger pool that would reduce the cost to us. Also, I believe we need to remove the laws stopping people and companies from buying insurance across state lines and a increase in the SCHIP program - no child should go without because (their) parents can't afford insurance for them.

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