Incumbent Congressman Bill Cassidy and his two long-shot opponents all want a rewrite of the healthcare law that was passed under President Obama. The candidates met at a debate Monday at the Baton Rouge Press Club.
Two-term Republican incumbent Cassidy, a physician, said decisions about spending for healthcare should remain with the states and citizens instead of the federal government.
"I don't want the political or the public process controlling healthcare. If you have a situation where the state government suddenly doesn't have the money, then those services begin to struggle," said Cassidy
Cassidy and Libertarian Rufus Craig both favor free-market approaches while independent Richard Torregano supports a single-payer plan. All three candidates want patients to be informed of the cost of procedures.
Craig points to Medicaid Part D among a list of programs he says are inflating the federal deficit, along with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We had a substantial reduction in tax revenues that were unfunded. All of these things were done because Congress did not have a restraint that says if you can't pay for it you can't have it," Craig said.
Cassidy says the Republican Party has a plan to balance the budget in 30 years while keeping Medicare and Medicaid solvent.
The election is Nov. 6.