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Keating, Sheldon, and Botelho Face Off in First Debate

The first debate among the three candidates for the newly formed 9th Congressional District focused on the Affordable Care Act.

Wednesday night in Duxbury, the Plymouth Area League of Women Voters held the first debate between the candidates running for U.S Congressman in the 9th Congressional District.

The was moderated by Kathleen Leslie, a retired physicist and member of the league.

The newly formed 9th Congressional District stretches from the South Shore down to Cape Cod and extends to the New Bedford/Fall River area.

U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Bourne, defended the Affordable Care Act – known as Obamacare – saying it has worked in Massachusetts. He said Massachusetts has more people covered by health care insurance than any other state and was one of the first states to come out of the recession, partly because of its health care law.

Christopher Sheldon, Republican from Plymouth, who opposes the act, said it will not help control costs and will become a burden for employers and individuals. He said that controlling costs requires room for innovation, and "you can’t legislate innovation....

"We know a few things about the Affordable Healthcare Act; we know it’s going to cost more than they said, we know it’s not going to work the way it’s supposed to, we know that not everybody is going to be covered, and we know taxes are going to go up," Sheldon said.

Independent Daniel Botelho said he would advocate a single-payer system similar to the one in Canada.

Botelho has a resolution to how healthcare should be managed, "A two-party payer system where the United States of America gives every American citizen a basic, well-defined healthcare system and then a supplemental that you can go out and buy."

However Keating, a first-term Democrat, believes healthcare reform in Massachusetts is working, and said Massachusetts reflects the future of healthcare nationwide.

"Look at the results on our economy. We were the 1st state out of the recession, we’re #5 in job creation and job growth, and our unemployment levels are almost two points below the national average. It has helped Massachusetts, it hasn’t hurt Massachusetts," Keating said.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Information for this story was taken from an article on WATD.com.

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