Our nation is stronger when our communities are good places to live and work, when they are prosperous, and when everyone can participate in that prosperity.
My leadership in economic development has shown that our communities and local economies have the power to create jobs that pay enough to put food on the table and save for retirement. We can harness this power with a leader in Washington devoted to creating common sense policies that work for our communities.
But right now, working families are getting left behind, especially in rural America. Poverty rates in our region are increasing and people are leaving. Yet, we see GOP tax cuts providing huge benefits to large corporations and ignoring real challenges faced by rural America. It is a tax plan that diverts resources away from working families and small businesses who need them most and towards millionaires, billionaires, and major corporations who are doing just fine.
In other words, our current representation in Washington is denying our region the means of helping ourselves and our communities build real and sustainable wealth.
As well as serious challenges, we face substantial opportunities. To meet these challenges and realize the opportunities, we need a leader in Washington who can help our towns and villages build infrastructure, attract investment and resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs, market our communities, and support sectors that thrive in our region.
Imagine what we could do if we had a Congresswoman who understands economic development in our region, as I do.
Imagine what we could do if we had a Congresswoman who has been involved with successful economic development ventures across our region, as I have been.
Imagine what we could do if we had a Congresswoman who values strong communication with local government, community organizations, and businesses, as I do.
In the North Country, my work has created and promoted economic opportunities across our region. Through partnerships with local government, businesses, and community organizations across our area, I have helped expand the clean energy sector, revitalize Main Streets, and help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses.
I want to be the voice of the North Country in Washington because I know what it takes to develop our economy.
As your Congresswoman, these are my priorities:
Support thriving sectors: Expand business opportunities in industries that thrive in our region: clean energy; small manufacturing; artisanal products; recreation and tourism; forest products; family farming; aerospace; transit equipment; defense; and biotech
Small business development: Target resources to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses, including support services and tax reform that encourages investment in these ventures
Infrastructure: Public investment in improvements that give all of our communities access to broadband, cell service, and reliable and safe water, electricity, and sewage systems.
Education: Help rural school systems find creative solutions so that their schools can remain a center of the community, and help communities fund federal mandates and programs that teach students life-skills that are not always found in the home. We also need more programs that enable our graduates and veterans prepare and compete for 21st century jobs. A highly-qualified workforce attracts industries and employers that pay high wages and contribute to the prosperity of our region
Airports: Our international and regional airports attract new industries and employers and make possible commerce, international trade, and travel for our region’s businesses, individuals, and visitors
Arts & Culture: Performing and visual arts are an anchor for communities. They enhance the quality of life, they attract visitors, and they attract new families to the area. The arts support local businesses by attracting visitors who then shop and eat at local restaurants and retail stores.
Natural resources: Protection of our natural resources so that they continue to support our way of life, attract entrepreneurs and telecommuters, and visitors who contribute to our economic prosperity
Healthcare: Reduce employers’ health care costs by taking them out of the health insurance business: provide individuals and families the option to buy into Medicare. Support our rural healthcare system by maintaining funding for Medicaid and raising the level of Medicare reimbursements
Transportation: We need innovative transportation systems that work in rural America. In some communities in our region, employers cannot recruit qualified workers because there is little or no public transportation for them
Housing: Support local communities’ efforts to create housing that workers and middle-income families can afford. Housing costs in communities popular with tourists and second-home owners are often beyond the means of teachers, shop owners, hospital employees, forest rangers, firefighters, and service workers - the very people these communities depend on for their quality of life
As a nation, we are stronger when our people have access to the health care they need at a price they can afford.
Access to affordable health care is critical to our ability to learn, work, care for ourselves and our families, and realize our full potential as Americans. We need to be able to take ourselves and our children to the doctor when we are sick, to get regular check-ups and necessary vaccines, and obtain the medicines we need to restore and maintain our health.
Problem: The Affordable Care Act (aka the ACA and “Obamacare”) has extended health insurance to millions who previously couldn’t afford it. But premiums are still much too high, and the Trump Administration is sabotaging some of the ACA’s key elements and driving premiums even higher. Even with the ACA, Americans are paying twice as much for health care than people in most developed countries and have the worst outcomes in key indicators like infant mortality, life expectancy, and chronic debilitating conditions among seniors. The prices we pay for pharmaceuticals are much higher than those of other countries, and almost 20% of every health care dollar spent by Americans with private health insurance goes towards administrative costs. Millions of Americans still don’t have health insurance, and many of those who do don’t get preventive care and care for acute health problems when they need it because of high co-pays and deductibles.
Solution: I believe that we must take practical steps towards a universal health care system that keeps healthcare in the hands of private healthcare providers and takes it off the shoulders of businesses, especially small businesses. It needs to be a system that enables individuals and families to consult the doctors they choose, receive preventive care that helps them stay healthy, have coverage for pregnancy, childbirth, and reproductive health services, mental health care, addiction treatment, and services that enable seniors and people with disabilities to live at home instead of in a nursing home.
I want to be your voice in Washington because I have a history of building partnerships that are required to get this done.
As your Congresswoman, I pledge to support:
A Public Option: Allow everyone to buy into Medicare. Medicare works for our seniors and people with disabilities and is far less expensive than private insurance because it has much lower administrative costs. This option will create the competition that some lawmakers insist is needed to lower costs and increase options for individuals, families, and employers. And, it will move us towards a universal healthcare system that our country needs.
Disproportionate Share Payments: Ensure that our hospitals continue receiving the Disproportionate Share Payments that enable them to care for Medicaid-eligible patients
Medicaid: Fully fund expanded Medicaid coverage for our low-income and working families, veterans, people with disabilities, and seniors who need nursing home care
Federally-Qualified Healthcare Centers:Fully fund our federally-qualified community healthcare centers so that they can provide primary care in areas where there are few options for lower-income individuals, families, and seniors
CHIP: Fully fund the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for children in lower-income families
Drug prices: Enable Medicaid and Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices
Coverage requirements: Require that public and private health insurance plans cover addiction treatment, mental health treatment, and full reproductive health care, including pregnancy, childbirth, and birth control
Planned Parenthood: Maintain funding for Planned Parenthood, an essential health resource for women, particularly in rural areas
VA Services: Increased funding for VA services and hospitals so that veterans, especially in rural areas, don’t have to drive long distances for essential care.
North Country Values
Our way of life, our environment, and the security of our country depend upon creating economic, environmental protection, and healthcare systems that works for everyone over the long-term.
Hard-working people deserve to be able to put food on the table, money in the bank, and have access to quality healthcare. Those who need help should have a hand up. Those who cannot take care of themselves need to be cared for. Everyone, regardless of the conditions they were born into, deserves a chance to build the life they want. We need an economic system that rewards hard work and provides resources that help people build the lives they want to lead.
Our way of life and our economy depend upon our winters, our clean air, water, and soil, and our forests. So that generations to come have the same opportunities we do, we have the responsibility to conserve our natural resources and curb climate change. The problem of acid rain dissipated thanks to sensible rules, and now we are reversing ground. We need to refocus national attention on this issue.