Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

March 11, 2014

Land offers ideas for alternative to health law

LANSING (AP) — After relentlessly criticizing Democrat Gary Peters for his support of the federal health care law, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land is outlining her own ideas about health care while also embracing some elements of the four-year-old law.

Land on Monday said patients should have more control over their medical spending and decisions with pre-tax health savings accounts. She got behind permitting insurers to sell policies across state lines, an idea backed by Republicans to expand access and contain costs.

The former Michigan secretary of state said she opposes forcing people to have insurance under the law but also supports parts of the measure such as keeping intact protections for people with pre-existing conditions and requiring hospitals to publish a list of their standard charges.

“There has to be a better way,” Land said in a statement released in conjunction with putting the proposed principles for “real healthcare reform” on her campaign website. “I favor a different approach.”

She is locked in a tight race with Peters, a third-term congressman, to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin.

Land, who said nearly every promise of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul has been broken, has tacked to the right on the health law. She signed a conservative pledge to oppose any funding to implement the law and said she would have voted against legislation ending the partial government shutdown in the fall.

Pointing to Land’s past push to defund the law, Peters spokeswoman Haley Morris said Land would “cut access to preventative health services like mammograms, cancer screenings and prenatal care and ... let insurance companies go back to dropping people’s coverage when they get sick.” She also criticized Land for not mentioning contraceptive coverage or letting young adults stay on their parent’s health plan until they are 26.

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