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Utah’s 1st Congressional District candidates spar on health care, government spending

Election 2022, Rep. Blake Moore, Rick Jones, Utah CD1 Debate 13, Oct. 10, 2022
Leah Hogsten/AP
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The Salt Lake Tribune, pool
Utah's U.S. 1st Congressional District incumbent Rep. Blake Moore, right, and challenger Rick Jones, left, discussed issues affecting northern Utah during the 1st Congressional District general election debate at the Val A. Browning Center on the campus of Weber State University in Ogden, Oct. 10, 2022.

First-term Republican Rep. Blake Moore debated his Democratic challenger Rick Jones on Oct. 10 at Weber State University. The Utah Debate Commission organized the event and Kerry Bringhurst of Utah Public Radio moderated.

As Moore attempts to defend his seat, recent polls show the incumbent up by nearly 30 points in the race for Utah’s 1st Congressional District. Despite the long odds, Jones tried to separate himself on issues like inflation, student loan debt and health care.

U.S. House, 1st District Debate with Rick Jones and Blake Moore

Jones argued that examining the compensation of top-level industry executives could help bring down the high cost of health care in the United States.

“If you go to Europe, there are no pharmaceutical executives making $25 million,” said the former Weber State adjunct professor. “I think we can get it under control by taking a good look at that.”

Moore countered by saying the American health care industry has been at the forefront of achievements like COVID-19 vaccines.

“We can’t demonize the health care industry in one breath and at the same time thank them for coming up so quickly with a vaccine,” said Moore. “It’s tough, but we need to focus on cures and not necessarily on symptoms as much.”

Instead of slashing executive compensation, he said it should be looking to expand services like telehealth and improve supply chain issues.

The candidates also disagreed on issues regarding government spending and inflation but found common ground on the threat of climate change and the war in Ukraine.

According to federal election filings, Jones has raised no money for his campaign, while Moore currently has more than half a million dollars at his disposal.

The 1st Congressional District covers Northern Utah from Park City and Kaysville to the Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming Borders.

FiveThirtyEight forecasts that Moore is “very likely” to hold the seat in the midterms.

Sean is KUER’s politics reporter.
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