Strengthening our Economy
Trickle-down economics just doesn’t work. Forty years of cutting tax rates for the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations has not led to widespread prosperity. On the contrary, it has made a few people unimaginably rich, while diverting resources away from fixing serious problems and building real wealth. Nowhere could this be more true than in Southwest Virginia.
I’ll continue to work with leaders around the region to:
- Level the playing field for workers, local businesses and the community banks that lend to them
- Expand broad band access, including support of public providers where appropriate
- Bring both public and private investment to innovative manufacturers creating products that make us more resilient and productive
- Focus investment and support on retaining and expanding existing businesses rather than subsidizing transient corporations
- Expand workforce and technical training, closely connected to area businesses and employers
- Foster and support entrepreneurship, especially among younger people
- Reinvigorate anti-trust laws to reverse the extraordinary concentration of power held by a handful of giant corporations
Dramatically Improving our Health Care
The Affordable Care Act expanded health care coverage to nearly 20 million people, provided protection to tens of thousands with pre-existing conditions, and enabled young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance while they get their feet on the ground. But it has not stemmed the rising cost of either insurance or medical care, nor has it moved us from a system focused on treating illness to one designed to promote health. While there’s no doubt that we have some of the best doctors and hospitals in the world, our health care system is a mess: much less coverage, much more cost and a less healthy population overall than most developed countries around the world.
Obamacare didn’t create this mess; it’s been going on for a long time. It’s time for us to move away from incremental steps that do nothing to improve health or challenge the power and profits of the insurance industry and Big Pharma. It’s time to begin the transition to a system of universal health care, or “Medicare for all”. I will support this shift over the next several years, and in the interim fight for:
- Medicaid expansion so that the working poor, young people and elderly people in nursing homes receive quality care.
- Expanded support for community clinics and rural hospitals, tied both to Medicaid expansion and debt relief opportunities for young doctors and health care professionals
- Innovative educational and action programs in schools to improve eating, health and wellness among young people
- Expanded, community-based treatment for mental health and addiction