Candidate questionnaire: 10th District congressional candidates McHenry, Keever

Candidate questionnaire: 10th District congressional candidates McHenry, Keever-attachment0

This post features responses to the Xpress questionnaire from candidates vying to represent the 10th Congressional District, which includes most of Asheville. Republican incumbent Rep. Patrick McHenry is facing a challenge from Democrat Patsy Keever.

Patrick McHenry

Slogan: “Fighting for Western North Carolina.”
Website: www.mchenryforcongress.com
Occupation: Representative, 10th Congressional District
Residence: Denver, N.C.
Top three donors: [no answer given]
Total raised as of Sept. 1: $950,120
Endorsements: National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Assoc., U.S. Chamber of Commerce

1. Do you support replacing Medicare with a voucher system? If yes, how do you ensure that the vouchers would cover the cost of adequate private insurance?

No. We have to save Medicare for today’s seniors and future generations, because it is currently on track to go bankrupt by 2024. Our plan offers an option between a premium support plan and traditional Medicare. That ensures seniors will get to choose the best health-care plan available.

2. Do you support efforts to increase public disclosure of campaign financing, such as the DISCLOSE Act of 2012?

I have opposed the DISCLOSE Act, which is an attempt to make an end run around the Supreme Court and stifle free speech. I support an open marketplace of ideas, as the framers intended.

3. Should women have the exclusive right to make medical decisions concerning their own birth control and pregnancy? Why or why not?

I believe women should have the right to make their own decisions regarding their health care. When those decisions are intertwined with another life, as in pregnancy, mothers must consider the implications on both lives. We must protect human life at all stages, from conception until natural death.

4. Do you support capping the national debt? If so, what specific cuts or revenue increases would you advocate? If not, how would you reduce the debt?

I support a fiscally responsible approach to budgeting. The federal government doesn’t tax you too little — it spends too much. We need to cut spending and enact pro-growth tax reform to balance the budget.

5. With state budgets strained, how do you propose to ensure Medicaid availability?

In order to help states manage Medicaid efficiently, we should block-grant funding and allow the states to provide benefits as they see fit. States understand the needs of their citizens better than bureaucrats in Washington and are better suited to ensure adequate care for those in need.

Patsy Keever

Slogan: “Putting People First”
Website: http://keeverforcongress.com
Occupation: N.C. state legislator, retired public schoolteacher
Residence: Asheville
Top three donors: the people of the 10th Congressional District
Total raised as of Sept. 1: $369,434.05
Endorsements: Democracy for America, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Sierra Club

1. Do you support replacing Medicare with a voucher system? If yes, how do you ensure that the vouchers would cover the cost of adequate private insurance?

No. Privatized vouchers cannot keep up with rising health-care costs, and giving power to insurance companies would cut seniors’ benefits. Our seniors have paid into this program all their lives: It’s not a handout! No senior citizen should have to fight with insurance companies over expenses their voucher cannot cover.

2. Do you support efforts to increase public disclosure of campaign financing, such as the DISCLOSE Act of 2012?

Yes. This is a nonpartisan issue. The electoral process should be as open and fair as possible. If people or corporations want to give large amounts of money to a candidate, voters who are evaluating that candidate’s ability to represent them should know about it.

3. Should women have the exclusive right to make medical decisions concerning their own birth control and pregnancy? Why or why not?

Government interference with a woman’s choices for her body and her health care is unconstitutional. We need to respect every woman’s ability to make her own health decisions. Women across the country fought hard for many years to earn equal rights: A public servant should never gamble with those rights.

4. Do you support capping the national debt? If so, what specific cuts or revenue increases would you advocate? If not, how would you reduce the debt?

Capping the national debt would put us at risk of defaulting on our loans or being unable to deal with an unexpected crisis, such as a natural disaster. We should balance our budget by cutting unnecessary tax breaks for millionaires and closing loopholes for companies that ship American jobs overseas.

5. With state budgets strained, how do you propose to ensure Medicaid availability?

Cutting Medicaid would hurt not only seniors but also middle-class families caring for disabled children. That’s not the way to balance state budgets. Instead, we need to expand the availability of preventive care, which will cut down on costly emergency-room visits, and target inefficient spending in the program.

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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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