Bipartisanship is the key to move America forward and fix the immediate and future issues Congress faces. Congress has set new records for polarization and must end the back & forth legislation that leaves America in a state of confusion and turmoil. Regardless of what elected officials say, their actions have proven that bipartisanship doesn’t exist in Washington. If Democrats and Republicans are unable to come together to work for the American people as a whole, then our current polarized, unproductive Congress will continue. We, the American people, only have ourselves to blame for this as we continue to elect and reelect individuals that draw a line in the sand when it comes to party issues and these politicians only serve the agenda of their party instead of the interest of all Americans.
Term limits need to be put in place for congressional members. Term limits will minimize the opportunity for corruption and the centralization of power to a single individual. Placing term limits on congressional members will encourage them to actually do the work of the people they represent instead of looking to appease their party and gain support for reelection. Term limits is the top issue in the many layers of fixing the way in which we elect our representatives, however, putting term limits in place will accomplish nothing if the elected replacements for open seats are hand selected by party politicians or major donors instead of the constituents of that district. This means that the people represented in districts need to get out and vote in primaries and general elections.
Healthcare needs to be fixed. This is an obvious issue and I am sure I sound like everyone else calling for healthcare reform. However, what sets me apart from the others is my background as an actuary. I have a unique insight from years of working with and for the insurance industry. Bringing it full circle and back to my number one priority, a successful comprehensive plan can only be put into effect if it isn’t repealed or tried to be repealed every time majority changes. A true bipartisanship bill must be passed and Democrats and Republicans have to come together to fix the issues.
Transparency and individuality from those we elect is needed to start the bipartisanship process. Elected officials do not always fit into only one of two groups on every issue. Therefore, open dialog and an understanding of not only one side’s opinion is needed to approach topics and reach permanent resolutions. I promise to be transparent so all individuals know not only where I stand on important issues, but why. I promise to vote as an individual and represent my district based on discussions, diverse opinions, and research rather than party-line voting.
As a freshman Congressman, it will be hard to make an immediate impact, but 74% of Americans believe there needs to be term limits. With the majority of Americans behind me, I can and will aggressively push members of congress and try to negotiate terms for a bipartisan way to accomplish this.
I believe a healthcare bill can be passed that addresses both Democrat and Republican concerns. For multiple reasons, I am 100% against a single payer healthcare system. Instead, I propose a market driven approach with transparency and protections in place to push innovation, efficiency, and reduce cost while protecting individual rights with pre-existing conditions and a guarantee to make insurance available if an individual wants insurance. To reduce the cost and drive competition we need the following: 1) Employee provided healthcare needs to end and be replaced with healthcare purchased by individuals and families through the open markets (like auto insurance). Access to plans won’t be limited to an employer and purchased plans will not change when switching jobs. 2) Price transparency and free market for all procedures and visits will allow patients to be aware of cost upfront and will drive competition and improve quality. 3) Cost assistance should be available if an individual/family is unable to afford care. 4) Keep preexisting conditions coverage. 5) Individuals will not be required to purchase healthcare. 6) Company sponsored HSA accounts to allow individuals to save for primary care coverage and deductibles. 7) Creation of state domestic mutual insurance companies which provide a stable, last resort, competitive market. 8) National database so doctors (with permission) can see diagnosis and prescriptions from other doctors.
We need to analyze how much local, state, and federal spend on public education and understand the relationship between public education spending and students’ achievements. Trends are showing that American spending on public education is at an all-time high while performance trends have stayed relatively flat. This leads me to believe it is not how much money is spent, but how the money is spent that matters. Throwing money at education without a well thought out plan is not the solution. The school choice programs is a promising option to give parents the ability to choose the right school although caution is needed as giving everyone a choice could create a supply and demand which would possibly favor those with resources rather than those who need assistance. On a federal level, we should embrace reforms that reduce bureaucracy, streamline regulations, and transfer authority over funding to state and local levels. States should focus on how to improve allocation of resources and provide options to families while attracting and retaining quality schoolteachers and making sure the money makes it to the classroom where it can do the most good for our children.
If Texas has to consistently provide lucrative tax incentives or subsidies as a quick fix in order to attract new projects and employers then broad-based tax reform is needed. Texas does not have a corporate tax rate but rather imposes gross receipt tax. Gross receipt tax might be a stable and ample source of income for Texas but can be economically crippling. This along with high property tax might need to be revisited at the state and not federal level if economic stagnation starts to occur. Federal improvements to attract new projects and employers would entail building a strong workforce while providing proper infrastructure for telecommunication, transportation, and commuting. Texas has the land and resources needed for growth and if we provide the human workforce and infrastructure for the industries and jobs of today and tomorrow Texas will continue to be attractive to new businesses.
To answer the question directly, I believe using managed care organizations is a solution needed to drive competition, improve efficiency, drive down cost, and increase coverage. I believe to fix healthcare, including both Medicare and Medicaid, all individuals should have the same healthcare options available to them as every other individual and all individuals should have the same plans available to those on Medicaid and Medicare. Because of that, I believe there should not be so many ways to obtain health insurance. Currently, health insurance can be obtained from multiple sources such as employers, Medicaid and Medicare. We need to have a single, open market source to obtain insurance while providing appropriate support to those who are unable to afford insurance. The Federal government needs to reduce bureaucracy, streamline regulations and transfer authority on coverage requirements and requirements to the state level.
Yes, there is a need for criminal justice reform. Non-violent, low level offenders should be allowed into the Texas workforce in occupations appropriate for their skills. Not only would this allow ex-offenders to reintegrate into society but also allow them to contribute instead of becoming another person needing financial assistance from the government. At a minimum, Texas needs to decriminalize marijuana and the federal government needs to allow states to decide for themselves what level of legalization they want to allow. Since multiple states have legalized marijuana there is no need to hypothesize how this will impact our state. It has been proven with the legalization of marijuana crime rates drop, jobs are created, and states see an increase in tax revenue. Focus should be placed on programs that produce quality skilled workers that would then be in high demand and give ex-offenders a path to gain full employment. This includes increasing on the job training, collaboration between industries and educators, and work in conjunction with those on the front-lines who are trying to get people back into society such as city specific, community-based organizations.
The Federal government needs to assist and work to help reopen businesses and keep them open over the next year. Less than half of all businesses do not reopen after a catastrophe of this size and two years after about a quarter of impacted businesses are still open. The federal government disaster aid is complex and confusing which leaves both individuals and businesses finding it easier to relocate and move rather than rebuild and reopen their business.
I did not decide to run for office because it was the next step in my career path. I am running because it has been said that Congress is broken when in fact, how and who we select is broken. Politics shouldn’t be an elite club for those with money or connections. We complain about how our officials spend too much time fundraising, or vote along party lines regardless of the issues, yet we continue to reelect them time and time again. I have 10+ years working as an actuary internationally and domestically. I’ve had past medical issues that showed me the good and bad of the medical and health insurance industries. I am an individual who identifies with my constituents as I am not a career politician or using this as a planned next step after studying politics. I am just a frustrated citizen wanting to make a change. We need individuals who rely on data and understand the underlying issues that drive the majority of the US budget (Social Security and insurance). I am going to focus on solutions that work to solve the issue regardless of party lines and understand my constituents, not the small percentage that fall in the extreme far right of the spectrum. I understand that one problem is the lack of transparency and the abundance of vague, cookie cutter answers. I promise to be transparent so all individuals know not only where I stand on issues, but why.