MADISON, Wis. - The four Republican U.S. Senate candidates said they want to repeal the federal health care law.
Businessman Eric Hovde, former Gov. Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann and state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald face off in next Tuesday's Republican primary.
Among the candidates, there has been a lot of back-and-forth in the campaign over health care, with Hovde attacking Thompson on the issue.
"(Thompson) was a lobbyist that was arguing for Obamacare. That's why President (Barack) Obama thanked him for it. He talked openly in more than a few interviews expressing support and the need for the mandate," Hovde said.
Thompson said in 2006 and 2007 that a mandate to buy health insurance, similar to auto coverage, was OK, but he changed course in 2008, saying a mandate wasn't effective and he wasn't supportive.
All of this happened before the president's health care law was even considered in 2009.
"It was a federal mandate, and I came out against it in 2008. Now some of my opponents are going back to 2006 and forgetting about my testimony in 2008, May 6th, you can look it up, under oath, I said a mandate is wrong," Thompson said.
All the Republican candidates say they want to repeal the federal health care law.
"There is no Plan B as far as I'm concerned. My plan is to repeal Obamacare, whatever that takes to do," Neumann said.
"We don't have a problem, especially here in Wisconsin, with access to health care. We have a problem with the cost of health care itself," Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said he wants more competition among insurance companies.
Neumann said he supports health savings accounts, and he also wants the ability to buy insurance across state lines.
Thompson agrees with that, and he said companies need to compel their employees to eat better and exercise.
All the candidates aim to limit medical malpractice lawsuits.
"If you're ugly going into the hospital, you're probably going to be ugly going out, and you shouldn't be able to sue because you're not beautiful," Thompson said.
The winner next Tuesday faces Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November.
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