We need a 50-state system where doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers “compete” in the private marketplace for our public dollars. I’m not going to change how our healthcare is provided, I just want to change the way we pay for it.
Regulating prescription drug prices (HR3)
Our current Congressman voted against HR3, which would have capped the prices of certain prescription drugs. We need to pass HR3 immediately. Furthermore, we should be negotiating prices for prescription medications for all Americans, similar to what we allow the VA to do on behalf of our Veterans.
Reducing administrative costs
We need to reduce the role of the middle man significantly. With a single payer system, we could deposit payments directly into providers’ accounts. We could also compile all patient information into one system and put them on a universal information card so your records would be available no matter which doctor, pharmacy, or hospital you go to.
Recovering from CoVid-19
CoVid-19 has made it clear that we need to fundamentally change our healthcare system. We need better incentives for preventative services and protections from uncontrolled fee structures. We need to increase, not cut the funding for the NIH and CDC. We need to revive and better fund our National Pandemic Task Force.
Income inequality and the lack of economic opportunities have robbed many in the 9th District of their chance at the American Dream. By fixing healthcare, funding our schools, raising the minimum wage, and investing in infrastructure programs, we can help our communities prosper.
Our current minimum wage is not a living wage; a one-size-fits-all minimum wage is not the solution. I support raising the minimum wage to at least $12/hour, but also tying it to the cost of living so that it will keep pace with future inflation and be appropriate for different geographic locations.
Rebuilding and expanding infrastructure
I believe that the government should undertake the biggest infrastructure project since the Eisenhower Administration. Money has never been cheaper to borrow, and we need to invest in our nation’s roads, bridges, and water systems, plus reinvent the public transportation system. My proposed Nationwide Infrastructure and Transportation Enterprise (NITE) will rebuild and expand our nation’s infrastructure, develop educational opportunities and apprenticeships, and generate living-wage jobs.
In the near future, we will not have enough workers to support a retired baby boomer generation. Farms who can’t find field hands and hospitals that can’t find doctors know the need for an increase in both skilled and unskilled labor. Not only do we need to admit additional legal workers into the United States to fill these labor shortages, but we should provide a path to citizenship for all people already working and paying taxes to support our economy.
We also need to make sure that we protect our border. I will defer to the experts on the ground at the border and give them the funding that they need.
I know that education isn’t a “one-size-fits-all.” I will fight to equitably fund our public schools and create quality Pre-K educational programs. I will support trade schools and community colleges so that everyone can have access to an affordable education that’s right for them.
Starting school earlier
Every student should have access to safe, high-quality education starting at age 4. America is falling behind other countries in educational achievement, and inequality in education begins before a child reaches the age of formal schooling. The federal government should allow students to enter school at age 4 to put students on the right path.
Subsidizing college costs
We should be subsidizing college costs for students attending public universities. In return, we need to put in place performance benchmarks and require that students return to work in the community they came from to minimize brain drain and to help subsidize future students’ educations.
Supporting trade school and community college
Four years of college isn’t for everyone. There are many living-wage jobs that don’t require a college degree. We need to support and fund trade schools and community colleges so that every student can feel free to make the right educational choices for themselves.
As a 5th generation farmer, I understand small business values and the hardships of owning a rural business. That’s why I will champion District-wide Broadband rollout, provide incentives for hemp processing, and work to bring a cheese and yogurt manufacturing facility to the 9th District to leverage Pennsylvania’s surplus milk supply.
Introducing hemp processing plants
Hemp is used for manufacturing automobiles and textiles, medicine, building trades, cattle feed, and other markets that are all thriving in America. Farmers in the 9th District have land that is ideal for growing hemp, but we have a bottleneck in getting this product from the farm to the manufacturing sector. Creating a hemp processing plant will allow farmers to take advantage of this opportunity for prosperity.
Incentivizing green agriculture
Farmers in the 9th District want to use 21st century green agriculture, but they need the funds to get started. We need to create incentives for farmers to form small cooperatives to build methane digesters to share in the repurposing of their manures. If we incentivize public-private partnerships and take advantage of tax abatement and tax exempt areas in rural communities, farmers can repurpose their unused land for solar fields.
Creating cheese & yogurt processing facilities
Americans are not drinking whole milk like they once did, but they are consuming more cheese and yogurt than ever before. The large dairy industry in the 9th District could repurpose their surplus by increasing local processing of milk into these high demand products. This would create living wage jobs for the trucking industry and for processing workers.
If we want to enact good policies, the first thing we need to do is reform our elections. The hyper-partisanship in Washington does not accurately represent the beliefs of regular people. We need to fix this by making every vote count equally.
We need to make it easier for every citizen to vote by instituting automatic voter registration at age 18, expanding early voting, and allowing mail-in ballots nationwide. Eventually, we should establish a biometric voting system through state IDs and allow people to vote electronically from home. We have the technology to do this–we just need to ensure that every citizen has easy access to a state ID.
Our first step should be to repeal Citizens United, but we need to go further. We should prevent candidates from organizing a campaign entity, raising funds, and campaigning prior to six months before a primary election. We should also cap the amount of fundraising allowed and allocate a set amount of public tax dollars for general election candidates.
We need to combat gerrymandering by making redistricting a fair and impartial process. I support having districts drawn by transparent, accountable, independent commissions of citizens.
Climate change is a matter of national security and one of the most pressing issues that we face. We need to immediately rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and resume a leadership role in protecting our Earth for future generations.
Carbon fee and dividend
I support a carbon fee-and-dividend structure, where companies pay for the carbon emissions that they release. These funds will be returned to the people in the form of a direct payment.
The data does not support environmentally safe removal of oil and gas from the subterranean strata. Fracking disproportionately affects poor communities and communities of color. We need to make sure that companies that take our natural resources are paying a premium for the damage they do to the environment.
Affordable green energy
Many people would like to take advantage of green energy, but it is not accessible to all. We need to move towards energy independence–it is a matter of national security. We need to continue research and support for green energy so that it can become competitive in the marketplace.
Protecting Our Rights
The Constitution guarantees individual freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I will not allow the government or any public or private entity to interfere in these unalienable rights.
2nd Amendment rights
As a gun owner, I know that guns are important for farmers, hunters, and sportsmen in the 9th District. The overwhelming majority of responsible gun owners supports background checks, red flag laws, and closing the Boyfriend and Charleston Loopholes. I will push for these laws when elected.
Women's right to choose
It is not the government’s place to tell anyone what they can or cannot do with their own bodies. The government should not interfere in one of the most difficult decisions a pregnant woman will ever have to make. Part of good healthcare is making sure that women have access to the necessary health options (birth control, prenatal and gynecological care, etc.) to help them make this choice.