The issues, according to Chris Haulmark
There is a disconnect in Washington. In a representative democracy, we elect people who then represent us. But that’s no longer happening. Instead, those we elect to Congress forget about us the moment the last ballot has been cast.
We all know this is true. We realize that Congress is in the pocket of special interests. That’s why their approval rating continues to hover around 20%.
We need change. That won’t happen if we keep electing the same people. We have to inject new blood and new ideas. We need Chris Haulmark.
He can restore your trust in government by:
- Pursuing a progressive social agenda coupled with a responsible fiscal policy. For, despite what partisans tell you, you can have both.
- Doing something congresspersons who can hear seem incapable of – listen to his constituents.
Here are the issues that Chris wants to pursue for you:
We all deserve to be healthy. That’s why Chris believes universal healthcare should be a basic right. For if you can get medical attention shouldn’t depend on the job you hold or the money you have.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) was a step in the right direction. But it does not guarantee coverage. It also left key provisions to the states to implement. This created a lot of wiggle room for them to shortchange their citizens.
For this reason, He supports a federally-backed single-payer option. Only in this way can we be sure no American has to choose between their home and medical care.
How do we get there? There are two options. We either expand ACA, or we install “Medicare for all”. But whatever route we take, that we get there is vital. A single-payer system is the only way we finally overcome this shameful shortcoming of our country.
What’s more, a single-payer option is not only morally right, it is also financially sound. Right now, costs are spiraling out of control as the US subsidizes healthcare for the rest of the world. The best way to reign in these costs is to enable the government to set prices for procedures and prescriptions. This works in Canada. So why wouldn’t it here?
The single-payer option must include dental, vision, and psychiatric care. Also, we need federally funded programs to help train nurses and doctors who’ll work in underserved communities.
Healthcare cannot be accessible only in theory. It must be available to every person in every neighborhood in America.
An educated populace is the backbone of a modern society. If American workers are going to remain competitive in the 21st century, they must have the skills to do so. This means our schools need to be on the cutting edge. We must excel in science, technology and business – along with many other skills.
Through education we can:
- Improve social mobility.
- Rebuild the middle class.
- Have the majority of citizens understand government policies and hold their representatives more accountable.
Therefore, the federal government and the states must support quality education for all Americans. It doesn’t matter what their background is, how old they are, or what physical conditions they have.
Early Childhood Education
To create a level playing field, we need to offer comprehensive programs for early childhood education. We can lay a good foundation for language, math, and science, as well as boost social skills and instill a passion for learning in children.
For many disadvantaged families, early childhood education is vital. It offers a crucial stepping stone to real opportunities. For many children from poor backgrounds, this is their only chance to gain early access to books and technologies that are otherwise out of financial reach.
Equally important, these programs can serve as childcare. This gives such families space to find employment, create businesses and pursue the American dream.
All children should have access to high-quality primary and secondary public education. That we actually need to say this is crazy. And yet, the situation is such that schools even a few miles apart might as well be in different countries.
That must change. Underperforming schools need targeted investment in personnel and technology. They also need programs to let high-performing students further their education, no matter their background.
But that isn’t enough. The performance gap can’t be filled with gadgets and money alone. It’s also a matter of culture. For that reason, schools that are struggling need to team up with schools ahead of the curve. This will allow for a transferal of norms, values and skills that will turn these weaker schools around.
Teachers are busy building the future of our nation every day. It is one of the most important jobs out there. Their salaries should reflect this. Only then will more of the bright minds of this generation take up more of the responsibility to raise the next.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) shouldn’t just be protected but also expanded. For how can we talk about equality when so many of us start on an uneven playing field?
Our society owes more student debt than consumer debt and because universities are so expensive, many young people opt out. Often those that do go are left with such massive debts when they finish, they must choose salary over fulfillment.
That needs to change. After all, for our country to flourish in these times, we need educated young people with the right focus. That means they aren’t just interested in the size of their bank accounts, but also want to care, create and contribute.
Thus, post-secondary education should not be out of anybody’s reach.
To help with that, the federal government and the states must boost funding. They must offer more support for state universities, as well as quality trade and associate degree programs from local community colleges, too. This is how we offer meaningful, affordable access to those capable of attending. No matter what their background.
We must expand the Pell Grant program. In this way, we can provide free education for low-income students. Additionally, we need to address the problems in the federal student loan programs.
- Interest rates on government-backed loans should be pegged to the prime interest rate.
- We must also rewrite the terms of private loans to allow them to be discharged in bankruptcy.
The choice for young Americans should not be between certain poverty and a lifetime of crippling loans. That won’t help them or our country.
Infrastructure is everywhere. It brings electricity to your home, products to your supermarket and makes sure the bridges you drive over don’t collapse. And yet, the U.S. infrastructure is in a terrible state.
We’re driving on roads with more potholes than safety features. Our pipes are decaying, allowing poisons to seep into our water supply. And our public transportation is held together by band-aids and rubber bands.
That is unacceptable. We must take steps to repair these networks.
But we shouldn’t stop there. We must take steps to expand our infrastructure to better serve people’s needs. A good place to start would be the rail network, from commuter lines near large cities to long-distance rail.
This would take cars off the road, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and revitalize small towns. All this would create thousands of quality jobs in exactly those parts of our economy where they are most needed. What’s more, it will reduce pollution and increase access. In this way, more people in more places have the opportunity to live the American dream in healthy environments.
This should be a priority for the whole country. It certainly is one for Chris.
Campaign Finance Reform
The Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision put money on the same level as speech. This has allowed foreign money and lobbyists to influence politics unchecked while making it near impossible for citizens to be heard.
We must combat this. Now, some channels are currently closed to us. We can’t enact legislation that infringes on Supreme Court’s decision, for instance. For this legislation would immediately be overturned.
Still, there are options available to help us create a more open and inclusive democracy. For example, We:
- Force media outlets to provide equal time to every candidate on a ballot.
- Demand politicians reject money from Political Action Committees (PACs) and corporate lobbyists.
- Push for transparent campaign finance disclosure, especially in advertising.
- Use impartial redistricting formulas to reduce political gerrymandering.
As your Congressman, I pledge to bring back individual service in Washington. My office will always be open to you, whatever help you need to achieve the promise of America. I know how hard-working, talented, and diverse the people of Kansas Third are. You deserve someone who will work for you.
Together, we can do so much! We can enact smart, reasonable solutions that serve everyone. We can protect the middle class, as well as our clean air, water and environment. We can demand accountability in Washington.
America is stronger than the problems facing it. Let us not steer by the stars but toward them.
All you need to do is Believe.