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The Suburbanite
  • Renacci invites Sutton to town hall on health care

  • U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, has invited U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley, to a health care town hall meeting. While Sutton said she wants to debate Renacci, she doesn’t appear likely to accept the town hall invitation.

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  • U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci has invited U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, his opponent in November’s general election, to have a joint town hall meeting to discuss the health care law.
    Sutton’s representatives said she plans to debate Renacci during the campaign.
    Renacci represents the Ohio’s 16th District, which had included all of Stark County. Sutton has Ohio’s 13th District, which included parts of Summit, Medina, Cuyahoga and Lorain counties. Because of redistricting, Sutton is in the 16th District.
    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold the Affordable Care Act. The law is an attempt to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans and relies on an individual mandate requiring people to pay a fine if they can’t show they have health care insurance.
    In 2010, Sutton voted with the Democratic Party to pass the health care bill. Last week she urged Congress to work with the law and make improvements.
    But Republicans counter the law should be repealed. Renacci has argued the health care law hurts the economy by hindering job growth. He maintained that argument Monday when he invited Sutton to join him in the joint town hall meeting.
    “In light of the law’s sweeping impact on both our economy and our health care system,  as well as Ohio’s overwhelming opposition to the law (as evidenced by the landslide passage of Issue 3 last fall), this is undoubtedly a matter that all elected officials are obligated to discuss openly and honestly with their constituents,” Renacci wrote in a letter to Sutton.
    Renacci offered five dates for the meeting, and said he could work with Sutton’s calendar. He also said he reserved a venue in Strongsville, which is part of Sutton’s old 13th District. Sutton’s staff issued a statement saying she looks forward to debating Renacci “and sharing with the people of the 16th District the differences between my focus on creating jobs and opportunities to strengthen our middle class.”
    When Sutton’s staff was asked, via email, if she was rejecting Renacci’s proposed joint town hall, the response was: “The congresswoman will participate in debates closer to the election which will allow voters to view the differences between herself and Congressman Renacci.”