About 100 people attended the forum at the
Although the candidates clashed over some issues, they agreed on much, including the need to reduce partisan bickering at the
"If the DFL were to send me talking points, I would correct them, grade them and send them back," said
The candidates did split over MNsure, the state's health insurance exchange system. Rep.
"It's already there. It is working in other states," Knoblach said. "Why are we spending all kinds of money here to reinvent the wheel? Let's just use what's already out there."
Theis noted that counties are seeing rising costs from having to hire more workers to help people enroll in MNsure. In some cases, people have found out too late that they weren't actually insured, she said.
"It's not convenient. It's not doable," Theis said.
Knoblach's challenger, DFLer Zachary Dorholt, said as a mental health professional, he deals with health insurance every day. He noted that MNsure is not insurance, but an exchange for private insurance companies.
"It is the private insurance companies who are raising their rates," Dorholt said. Nonprofits are working hard to reduce costs, he said. Dorholt proposed tort reform and other regulation changes to help reduce costs.
With the majority of the audience was made up of older voters, many of the questions focused on topics important to seniors, including phone scams and funding for nursing homes.
"The idea here is that if people are aware of this, if they're educated, then they can be armed and be able to deal with it," Relph said.
Wolgamott proposed continuing to defer property taxes for seniors and increase local government aid to cities to help seniors afford to stay in their homes.
"It is devastating when seniors have to move out of their lifelong homes because of the property tax burden," Wolgamott said. " ... We've got to do everything we can to prepare as a state for the changing demographics that face us."
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