(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Republican Congressional candidate Joe Heck said on Monday he expects the race between him and incumbent Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., to be decided by no more than 2 percentage points in the November general election.
Heck, a physician and former state lawmaker who served with Titus in the Nevada Senate, said on the Nevada NewsMakers television program today: “It’s going to be a neck and neck race.”
“So we’re working hard on the folks that we need to reach out to, the undecideds, the nonpartisans, we’re doing well in those groups, and we think that is what is going to carry us to victory on Nov.2,” he said.
Heck said he does not know if the Tea Party Express will back his campaign, but that anything the group does to energize Nevada voters will benefit him in the Congressional District 3 race against Titus, who is completing her first term.
“Anything that movement does to energize the conservative vote to turn out will have a trickledown effect in CD3,” he said.
Polls show the two candidates in a statistical tie. The race is considered a key to which party will control Congress following the mid-term election.
Heck said the federal health care law has some positive elements, such as requiring coverage for preexisting conditions, but that too much of it is flawed. An example is the requirement for younger healthier people to pay substantially more for coverage to support older participants with more costly medical conditions, he said.
“There is $1 billion in this bill appropriated to the federal government for the cost of implementation of the bill,” he said. “So any bill that is going to cost $1 billion to implement certainly has some flaws.”
Heck said if he is elected to Congress his approach to the health care law will be to repair those good sections that have flaws, repeal unworkable elements and replace those parts that are good in concept but that need more realistic solutions.
Heck, who has been criticized by Titus backers for a vote in the Nevada Senate in 2007 to oppose requiring health insurance companies to cover a new cervical cancer drug, said the statements ignore his real legislative record in support of reforms to improve access to health care. There were concerns about potential side effects from the drug, he said.
“They want to pick one vote on one issue and try to make it seem I was against women in heath care when actually I was standing up for women in health care,” he said.
Heck said mandated coverages drive up the cost of health insurance and Nevada has a high number of mandates already.