Candidates in IL-12 meet for final debate - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Candidates in IL-12 meet for final debate

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- With just two weeks to go until Election Day, candidates in Illinois’ 12th congressional district met for their final debate of the cycle. 

There Republican incumbent Mike Bost, alongside Green Party Candidate Randy Auxier and Democrat Brendan Kelly made their pitches to southern Illinois Voters. 

Bost defended the Republican’s tax law, which reduced taxes on both individuals and corporations, saying it would spur economic growth.

“If we continue down this path to stimulate the economy, then you can actually apply that to get the balanced budget,” Bost said.

Auxier and Kelly both disagreed, saying it doesn’t help average Americans if the highest earners see cuts
“You do not grow the economy by increasing the wealth of the richest,” Auxier said. 

Kelly said,” I’m not going to lose an ounce of sleep if people like George Soros on one side or people like Bruce Rauner on the other side have to pay a little more. 

Kelly attacked Bost on healthcare, saying the congressman supports cutting protections for preexisting conditions.

“Mr. Bost voted to take away those protections preexisting conditions not once, but 13 times,” Kelly said. 

Bost defended his record, calling the affordable care act a disaster, saying he supports protections for Preexisting conditions. 

“Obamacare is failing. It’s hurting our families. In southern Illinois premiums have more than doubled since its creation.”

Auxier said the country needs to provide universal healthcare for its citizens. 

“There should be no profit motives in it at all,” Auxier said. “We have to get the insurance companies out of it altogether.”

The candidates also addressed the opioid epidemic.

Kelly says it starts with improving healthcare. 

“If you want to break the cycle of addiction, if you want to not just attack the supply of opioids but also attack the demand, you have to have healthcare that includes treatment for those addictions,” Kelly said.

Auxier says for profit healthcare is to blame for the epidemic, and says universal care is the only way to turn it around.

“Part of the reason that we have an opioid crisis is because we don’t have a good healthcare system,” Auxier said.

Bost called the epidemic one of the most important issues facing southern Illinois, and says if reelected, he would continue the work with his taskforce to end the crisis. 

“I created a taskforce to deal with it and reach out,” Bost said. “We have families who have been touched by it, we have healthcare providers, law enforcement and we work together to come up with solutions.”

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