The Republicans running in Nebraska's two most competitive major races say they will settle for no less than repeal of the health care law the Supreme Court upheld Thursday.
Their Democratic opponents for the Senate and for the Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District say they want to improve the law, not throw it out.
Republican Senate candidate Deb Fischer said repeal was the only possible solution. She would not say what she'd like to see in place of the current law.
“We can change this,” said Fischer, a state senator from Valentine. “We can keep costs down. If voters have that distinct choice, we'll be able to repeal this law.”
Her opponent, Democrat Bob Kerrey supports the law and said he would push only for changes to improve it and to help contain health care costs.
The former Nebraska governor and two-term senator said he supports a proposal by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that would require the federal government to take over 100 percent of Medicaid costs and give the states all responsibility for public schools.
“Let's try to figure out how to make (the law) better,” Kerrey said.
Republican Rep. Lee Terry of Omaha said he would vote to repeal the law and plans to do so in July and again if the White House or Senate changes hands.
If Republicans lose control of the House after November, he said, there would be no point in trying to tinker with the law.
“We wouldn't be able to change anything,” Terry said.
His Democratic opponent, Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing, said he would fight any efforts to repeal the law but also would push to negotiate better prescription drug prices and improve reimbursement rates for health care providers.
“There are some things you could make better,” Ewing said. “But it's a good start toward reducing our health care costs.”
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