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Szeliga: Repealing Obamacare 'not practical'


Repealing Obamacare has become a litmus test for many Republicans seeking federal office. But Republican Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga said Friday she wouldn’t vote to repeal the federal healthcare law.

During a debate on WAMU radio in Washington, the state delegate from Baltimore County criticized the law, particularly the rising insurance premiums many have seen since the law passed. But she said repealing the mammoth legislation isn’t the answer. Instead, she advocated for reforming the law.

“Only people trying to raise money on this issue talk about repealing it,” she said. “Physicians and insurance companies have said repealing it at this point — we've spent billions and billions of dollars on this — is not practical and the numbers don't exist in the Congress to do that.”

Her opponent, Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, defended President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation.

He said premiums have gone up because people with pre-existing conditions who previously weren’t covered have bought insurance from the marketplace. He refuted Szeliga’s suggestions, offering his own alternative suggestion to fixing the issue.

“I support creating a public option to create more competition and more options,” he said.

Szeliga and Van Hollen are vying to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom. @RachelBaye
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