As a person who believes that we all need to help one another, here are my positions on the major issues in this campaign.
The United States is the only developed country that does not guarantee health care to its people. I believe that we need a national health care payment system, probably an Expanded Medicare for All type system, so that everyone can get the health care that they need. Health care should be available for all, regardless of ability to pay, age, gender, or any other characteristic.
At the state level, we need to take other steps until we can achieve a national health care payment system. One way would be to pass legislation that says that any health insurance company selling in Colorado must sell in all counties in Colorado and must charge the same rates in all counties. This could substantially reduce rates on the Western Slope (where we pay some of the highest rates in the country) while raising rates only slightly on the Front Range.
I am strongly in favor of protecting our environment so that we pass down clean air, clean water, and all of nature’s beauty to our descendants. While we continue to need viable mining and oil/gas industries, those industries need to be responsible citizens. It is naive to believe that large companies will be responsible on their own, so we need to have regulations that ensure that all industry is carried out responsibly.
I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but I do not believe that it guarantees everyone the right to carry and use any type of weapon. Weapons for hunting, target practice competition, and self-protection should be available. Weapons that are designed for the military that enable people to kill people quickly and easily should be controlled. Common sense should prevail.
Like much of the rest of the country, southwest Colorado needs to maintain a strong infrastructure in order to support our businesses, including outdoor activities, tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. The infrastructure needs include roads, bridges, utilities, and much more.
High quality public education is essential to thrive in today’s world. Businesses which have good-paying jobs are very reluctant to locate in places where the public schools are not top notch. In Colorado we have some of the lowest expenditures per student in the nation, and we have some of the lowest teacher salaries. These must be changed to make sure we have high quality schools.
Opioid abuse is destroying many of our communities. This is not a simple problem to solve. It is going to take a major multi-pronged approve to deal with opioid abuse. This includes educating our people on the horrible risks of abusing opioids, funding substance abuse resources, and encouraging medical providers to switch to less addictive pain control medications.
We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. And yet we have a significant shortage of jobs that pay a living wage. Legislation is not likely to solve this problem, but your state Senator can play a big part in bringing businesses that pay higher wages to our area. See the Infrastructure and Education items above.