Health care is an important issue to all three candidates running to represent Missouri's 3rd Congressional District, but the incumbent's view on the topic differs from his challengers'.
Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer will face Democrat Megan Rezabek and Libertarian Leonard Steinman in the Nov. 3 election.
Luetkemeyer, of St. Elizabeth, was first elected to the position in 2009. He said he does not support universal health care.
"We need to have a system in place that allows the individuals to be able to — through their own choices — decide what kind of coverages they want, what kind of health care they want and how much they want to pay for it," he said.
Luetkemeyer said he wants to lower premiums and provide incentives to private sectors and individuals to purchase health coverage.
"If you incentivize the private sector to be able to put together plans and programs that take care of these things and inform and allow individuals to be informed as to the effectiveness and cost of these programs, you'll see health care prices go down and you'll see coverages go up," he said.
Rezabek, of Imperial, is a building maintenance worker and political activist. Health care is listed as one of her top issues on her campaign website.
"Healthcare is a Human Right regardless of gender, race, age, sexual orientation or ability to pay," Rezabek's website states. "Healthcare should not be for profit."
Rezabek did not respond to multiple attempts by the News Tribune to be included in this article.
Steinman, of Jefferson City, is a retired truck driver and frequent candidate for political offices. Steinman said he supports universal health care.
"Not everybody's got the money but they still have the right to live," he said.
Steinman said universal health care is especially important right now amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Look what's going on right now — you know what it would cost you if you come down with a virus and you didn't have health care?" he said.
Steinman said he opposes health insurance because he believes it's a scheme to benefit insurance companies, and he believes health insurance should be replaced with Social Security.
"Insurance — biggest ripoff there ever was," he said.