The federal health-reform law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday is shaping up as a point of sharp differentiation between candidates in the 10th Congressional District campaign. Three major-party candidates in the six-person field put out statements after the ruling – with Democrat Denny Heck of Olympia celebrating the law’s constitutionality, Republican Dick Muri of Steilacoom repeating his call to repeal the law, and Republican Stan Flemming of University of Place appearing to back away from his commitment to repeal the law if elected.
The three other candidates didn’t put out statements. But two of them – Sue Gunn, a Progressive Independent from Olympia, and Steve Hannon, an independent from Yelm – favor a single payer system (in other words a system like Medicare). Democrat Jennifer Ferguson of University Place has said she likes the direction the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was headed with an expansion of Medicaid for the poor.
Gov. Chris Gregoire made clear Thursday that Washington state is moving ahead to put the law fully into effect by January 2014.
Here are excerpts from the candidates’ news releases, starting with Heck, who called attention to what the law does for consumers: