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In 2nd District race, Garcia bucks Obamacare

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 13. 2014 9:28PM


SALEM - The campaign of 2nd District congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia of Salem, a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act, on Friday confirmed that she is purchasing month-by-month health insurance outside the Affordable Care Act network.

"Marilinda has a 'short term health insurance plan,'" her campaign manager, Tom Szold, said Friday, a day after she would not say how she is covered during an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio. After that interview, the campaigns of the other candidates for major offices each provided NHPR with details of how their candidate is covered for health care.

Garcia, in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader on Friday, said she didn't divulge her health insurance because she considered it a private matter and felt "there's no need to get into it even more."

Garcia, who on Tuesday handily won a Republican primary and will face U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., in the Nov. 4 mid-term election, said she could continue to criticize the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, even if she hadn't provided details about her health coverage details.

"I want to represent those who have seen their situation go beyond the bounds of what they expected" when the law was implemented, she said. "People were told they could keep their doctor. People were told they could keep their plans if they liked them. All of that was false."

Szold said her plan covers catastrophic care on a short-term basis while she runs for Congress. Should she win the election, she presumably would be eligible for health care through Congress.

He said Garcia decided not to enroll in an ACA exchange, even though she would have been eligible.

"Marilinda, as a free citizen, exercised her right to choose a health plan according to specifications that best suit her individual needs, and therefore did not enroll in the government's choice for her. She supports that same choice for all citizens," he said.

Garcia said she believes the campaign should be about the issues and said "that's fine" if questions about her personal health care coverage come up again.

Garcia opened up about other parts of her life in the Friday interview.

She said she lives at the School Street home of her parents, David and Santa Garcia, along with her sister, Bianca, who also serves in the State House. She is of Spanish and Italian descent.

She has no children and is engaged to be married. She would not say who her fiance is.

"That's all right. But he's my darling," she said.

She has worked, mostly on a part-time basis, teaching the harp to students at a school in Massachusetts as well as Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter and St. Paul's School in Concord. She also has volunteered as a court-appointed special advocate for neglected or abused children in the court system.

Her last full-time job was as a developer of curriculum and business for a university in northern Italy.

But, while serving in the Legislature over the last several years, she has devoted herself to working full-time - though for a $100 a year stipend - while the Legislature is in session, then working in the private sector, primarily as a harp instructor, when not in session.

"But right now, I'm campaigning full-time," she said.

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