The Arizona Daily Star invited the candidates to answer questions about hot topics. Some responses were edited for length and grammar.
If you don’t support Medicaid expansion, how should we pay for uncompensated hospital care that ends up on our bills?
Gary Kiehne: I do not support Medicaid expansion because, like Obamacare, it is fiscally irresponsible and unsustainable without higher taxes or more borrowing.
Adam Kwasman: The long-term solution to compensate hospitals and provide superior healthcare is to create an environment of prosperity and job growth. Studies show ER visits increase after expanding Medicaid, thereby increasing the burden on hospitals. I opposed the ObamaCare expansion in Arizona and will fight to repeal and replace ObamaCare in Congress.
Andy Tobin: The best way to get people off Medicaid is to create good paying, private sector jobs that allow people to purchase their own insurance privately. Because of Obamacare’s top down, one-size-fits-all approach, we’ve seen seniors and rural communities hurt by cuts to Medicare. That’s wrong and it needs to change.
How should the federal government be involved in job training?
Kiehne: The federal government should not be involved in job training. Like many federal programs, job training is something best left to state and local governments.
Kwasman: The stark realities of federal job-training programs haven’t matched the rhetoric of their supporters. Few programs have done impact studies, and those few showed only small positive impacts. We need to continue to empower and encourage private-sector employers and community colleges in providing robust training for our changing labor force.
Tobin: Instead of the federal government issuing money with mandates and strings attached, it should issue block grants to states, individually, so they can implement the best job training programs for their state. In Arizona, we supported job training through our community colleges, universities and joint technical education districts (JTEDs).
To what extent should private contractors and concessionaires be permitted to use public lands for profit?
Kiehne: I strongly support expanding access to public land. The federal government’s unwillingness to allow reasonable access to public land has hurt the economy in many areas of this Congressional district.
Kwasman: My number one rule in this matter: Does it benefit the people and provide the pathway to long-term and sustainable prosperity, while respecting the rule of law and individual liberty? If so, I’m supportive of the measure.
Tobin: Anybody who is permitted to use public lands for profit must show their commitment to maintaining the given piece of land. Anytime we allow the use of public lands, there should be an expectation and requirement that safety and environmental integrity is kept at all times.
When it comes to the federal budget, name three things you’d cut and three things you’re unwilling to compromise.
Kiehne: There are far more programs than just three that should be cut from the federal budget. Three that immediately come to mind are Obamacare, federal subsidies for Amtrak, and the export/import bank.
Kwasman: I would repeal ObamaCare, the Federal Reserve and the EPA. I would not compromise on fighting against amnesty; repealing and replacing ObamaCare; and standing up for the natural, God-given right to keep and bear arms.
Tobin: Cut IRS funding, EPA, foreign aid to countries that support or harbor terrorist networks. No compromise on Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ healthcare and benefits.
How should the federal government deal with illegal immigrants already living and working in the U.S.?
Kiehne: I don’t support amnesty. Before we implement any policy to deal with those in our country illegally, we must secure the border. Once that happens, I would support granting temporary work visas to immigrants who possess skills needed by American companies that they cannot get from U.S. citizens.
Kwasman: I am 100 percent against amnesty. My opponents believe in amnesty via legal status for those already here. I believe we solve this problem through I-9 enforcement and fully implementing E-Verify. I believe in securing our border by finishing the double-layer border fence and sending the National Guard to the border.
Tobin: The federal government needs to do its job and secure the border, first and foremost. We can’t do anything moving forward if our border is not secure. Right now, drug cartels and human trafficking enterprises move freely across the border, which puts the safety of our citizens in jeopardy.