07/06/2012 03:34 pm ET

Bob Kerrey Challenges Deb Fischer To Health Care Reform Debate

Relitigating health care reform was considered a losing strategy by many Democratic candidates during the 2010 midterm elections, but it appears that Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey disagrees in the current electoral cycle.

Kerrey, a former senator and governor of Nebraska, challenged his Tea Party-backed Republican opponent Deb Fischer on Thursday to a debate about health care reform.

"Health care is a crucial issue for Nebraskans," Kerrey said. "I haven't talked to any business person, any individual who hasn't said the cost of health care is a big problem in their lives."

Fischer, like most of her Republican brethren, is an opponent of Obamacare.

"I've never shied away from saying I want to repeal Obamacare, and [Kerrey has] never shied away from supporting it," she said after the Supreme Court upheld the law.

While Kerrey believes that the Affordable Care Act is "preferable to the status quo," he is hardly a champion of the president's signature domestic legislation. Kerrey prefers a universal health care system that is not based on employment.

"By severing the link between employment and health care, we can free entrepreneurs to create jobs without the worry that they won’t be able to afford health coverage for their employees," Kerrey writes on his campaign website. The Affordable Care Act, his site notes, is primarily employment-based.

While there are still many months to go before the November election, recent polls have shown Kerrey trailing Fischer by a large margin.

10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:

Rangel’s Slim Lead Widens As Ballot Count Continues [New York Times]

Democrat Murphy Says He Can Lead From The Center In U.S. Senate [Darien Times]

Lazatin Won't Endorse Vice Mayor, Congressman [Sun Star]

FEC Fines Kansas GOP For Finance Violation [AP]

Iowa Hosting Four Fierce Congressional Races Thanks To Redistricting [U.S. News and World Report]

Congressional Hopeful Hit With Penalties [New Jersey Herald]

Codependent Candidates Rely On Others' Supporters [The Texas Tribune]

Blumenthal Promotes Small Brewery Tax Break [CT News Junkie]

Super PAC Considering Targeting Two Inland Empire Incumbents [89.3 KPCC]

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