Lauren Boebert said opponents’ efforts focusing on her personal life are meant to distract voters from issues in the campaign – especially health care, an issue on which she claims she holds an advantage.
Boebert, a Rifle Republican, faces Diane Mitsch Bush, a Steamboat Springs Democrat, in the race for the U.S. 3rd Congressional District, which covers Western Slope.
“Diane Mitsch Bush should be disqualified from this race because of her health care position. She lies about her positions. She lies about my positions, and she’s trying to scare people. And I think that is terrible,” Boebert said in an interview Tuesday.
Boebert spoke to the Southwest Republican Women on Tuesday at the DoubleTree hotel and then gave an interview to The Durango Herald.
Boebert said the biggest failure of Republicans in 2016 was their failure to replace the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, with a health system that relied more on free-market principles.
A health care bill Boebert said she would support would require transparent pricing, would cut bureaucratic and administrative costs to be more affordable, cover pre-existing conditions and would be portable – a health insurance policy employees could take with them as they move to different jobs.
Boebert claims her opponent is backpedaling from past support for Medicare for All, a plan introduced by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., because the idea would take away private insurance from millions of people and is unpopular in the 3rd Congressional District largely stemming from its price tag.
One estimate published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University estimated Medicare for All would cost $32.6 trillion in its first 10 years.
Boebert said Mitsch Bush’s guiding star on health care policy for most of her career has been increased government control.
“She’s been on the record for years, wanting universal health care, having a love fest with Bernie Sanders and his socialized medicine scheme,” she said. “And all it does is ration health care and it separates patients from doctors, when we should be bringing patients and doctors together.”
Caleb Cade, communications director for the Mitsch Bush campaign, said in an email that Boebert has repeatedly called for repealing the Affordable Care Act, which he said is the only law now on the books protecting people with pre-existing conditions.
“ACA repeal would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to more than 300,000 people in CD 3 with a pre-existing condition and rip coverage away from more than 400,000 people across Colorado. She knows that’s politically untenable, and that’s why she’s tried to walk back her support for ACA repeal,” he said.
He added Mitsch Bush does not support eliminating private insurance.
“Diane is fighting to protect people with pre-existing conditions, lower drug costs by authorizing Medicaid to negotiate drug prices, end surprise billing, fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and get rural hospitals the resources they need,” he said.