If Obamacare survives, U.S. won't, Ben Sasse says as he officially launches Senate bid - Omaha.com
Published Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 6:13 pm
If Obamacare survives, U.S. won't, Ben Sasse says as he officially launches Senate bid

Republican Ben Sasse says the fate of America hinges on the fate of President Obama's health-care initiative.

If the Affordable Care Act survives, America will cease to exist, said Sasse, as he officially launched his bid Monday for U.S. Senate.

Sasse, 41, said that if he is elected to the U.S. Senate, his goal will be to repeal the law.

“If it lives, America as we know it will die. If the idea of America is to live, it must be stopped,” said Sasse.

Sasse is one of four Republicans in the race to succeed outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns. With friends and family on hand, he formally launched his campaign in Fremont, the eastern Nebraska town where he grew up and where he now presides as president of Midland University.

Last week, Sasse stunned the political world when he announced that he had raised more than $800,000 in eight weeks. For any politician, $800,000 would have been impressive, but it was especially noteworthy since Sasse is a political newcomer making his first bid for public office.

So far, two of the three other Republican candidates in the race have not disclosed their third-quarter financial reports. Former State Treasurer Shane Osborn and Omaha trial attorney Bart McLeay have until Oct. 15 to file their reports with the Federal Election Commission.

The fourth candidate in the race, Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale, did not officially file for the race until last month and has until January to file his first report.

So far, no Democrat has entered the race.

Sasse made it clear Monday that health care and his opposition to President Obama's controversial health-care reform initiative will be a cornerstone of his campaign.

Sasse was a former top adviser in former President George W. Bush's Health and Human Services Department. After he left the federal government, he worked as a consultant, helping to advise companies on health-care laws.

He also toured the country, giving lectures in which he outlined his opposition to Obama's health-care initiative, arguing the country needs a more “market-based” approach to reforming its health-care system.

Sasse said the new law “insinuates” government into every aspect of Americans' lives from “cradle to grave.”

He also said it would create a “dependency culture” in this country.

“The dependency culture wants America to look less like America and more like Europe,” he added.

During the coming months, Sasse said, he will talk more about how he would like to reform America's health-care system.

“Over the course of this campaign, we plan to talk a great deal about patient-centered health policy solutions — for we want both to wreck Obamacare but then also to replace it with something actually workable,” Sasse said.

“And we will talk about the emerging golden age of American energy, about rolling back the regulatory state, about an economic agenda of growth, about a prioritized foreign policy, and more.”

Contact the writer: Robynn Tysver

robynn.tysver@owh.com    |   402-444-1309    |  

Robynn is Omaha.com's elections writer. She's covered presidential politics in Iowa's caucuses, and gubernatorial and Senate races in Nebraska.

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