#4ThePeople: Washington’s 5th congressional district candidates address healthcare, internet access

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s already difficult to take down an incumbent in any election race, but that becomes even more of a challenge when you can’t even knock on doors.

Dave Wilson is no stranger to these election races, but even he admitted, this election is unlike any other.

“We’re not doing any doorbelling, all of our events are on zoom or over the phone,” Wilson said. “I haven’t been on the phone this much since I was a teenager.”

Wilson is now trying to stop Cathy McMorris Rodgers from being re-elected to Washington’s 5th congressional seat. She’s held that seat since 2004.

Wilson is trying to sway voters by saying it’s time for a change—some of those voters sent us questions for each candidate.

Victoria asked: “With threat of Obamacare being repealed, how are you going to support those with pre-existing conditions to make sure coverage is affordable?”

We took that question straight to Dave Wilson, and he believes there’s still hope for the Supreme Court to protect the Affordable Care Act.

If it doesn’t, he thinks there’s a chance to go back to the drawing board and make the law stronger.

“We still have too many people not covered, and in my mind, healthcare should be a right, not a privilege,” Wilson said. “That’s the direction we need to move in, and we need to make sure people with pre-existing conditions are covered.”

We also sent the question to McMorris Rodgers, but her campaign told us she was not available today. So, we went to her campaign site to see where she stands on this issue.

The congresswoman opposes Obamacare and explained her plans in a statement on her site.

“We should replace the current law with common sense, market based solutions to increase healthcare access and lower costs for all Americans,” she said. “We should allow businesses to pool together to purchase insurance and permit insurance to be sold across state lines, limit junk lawsuits.”

McMorris Rodgers has also made it clear she’s determined to protect those with pre-existing conditions, because her son has one.

Marie asked: “How do you propose tackling the rural connectivity issue?”

The congresswoman believes it starts with correct mapping from the FCC, and on her site, she said that is why she led the Broadband Data Improvement Act.

That law revamped federal mapping to help rural areas get more connectivity.

Wilson said he can get behind another bill on this issue, the Rural Connectivity Advancement Program.

It’s still just in its beginning stages, but it would require the FCC to emphasize internet access for tribal lands.

It would also force them to report how funds are given out, and require them to address gaps in internet access across rural areas, among several other things.