“This is a policy Sal has advocated for on multiple occasions over many years, then he became a candidate for Congress and abruptly stopped. His record does matter for voters. You cannot reinvent yourself just because you decide to run for Congress.”
— Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, about his opponent Sal Pace, D-Pueblo
A single-payer, government run healthcare system dominated the most recent round of political volleys this week in the race for the Third Congressional District of Colorado.
Michael Fortney, campaign manager for Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, said Wednesday the ongoing national healthcare debate — specifically in regards to Obamacare — represents one of many important issues to voters that challenger Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, has dodged since announcing his bid for the office of CD3.
Fortney referenced a June 9, 2009 article in the Pueblo Chieftan in which Pace stated he would not stop pressing for a single-payer healthcare system in Colorado despite the fact HB09-1273 failed to pass through the Colorado General Assembly.
Had HB09-1273 passed the state legislature it would have laid the groundwork for a single-payer system in Colorado.
Though Pace’s support of a single-payer system is well documented, Fortney said Pace has removed his support of the idea from his web site.
“This is a policy Sal has advocated for on multiple occasions over many years, then he became a candidate for Congress and abruptly stopped,” Tipton said in a news release. “His record does matter for voters. You cannot reinvent yourself just because you decide to run for Congress.”
Chad Obermiller, Pace’s campaign manager, would not say definitively whether Pace still supports a single payer healthcare system or if the challenger would have voted for Obamacare had he been a member of Congress.
“Sal's approach towards health care reform at the federal level is to work to cut costs by emphasizing wellness and prevention and personal responsibility for your own health care — by looking at successful models like Rocky Mountain Health in Grand Junction where people work in tandem on prevention, treatment and disease management — where patients have access to affordable insurance, and where we have Medicare and a Medicaid safety net,” Obermiller said. “Sal's for fixing Obamacare, not throwing it out, which requires hard, nonpartisan, collaborative work.”
Touting bipartisan action is a song Fortney said he’s grown tired of hearing.
“Sal is running a campaign desperate to avoid his record and reality,” he said. “Support of a single-payer, government-provided and -ran healthcare system has been a centerpiece of Sal’s past platform, why is he now hiding his real positions from Colorado voters.
“This is not the first time he has avoided answering questions, he is making it the centerpiece of his campaign.”
Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.