As a Registered Nurse and Director of a publicly owned district hospital, I’m acutely aware of the need to ensure all Americans can afford health care coverage.
Through the Affordable Care Act, 30 million uninsured Americans are now able to see a doctor and are no longer at risk of losing everything over a health problem. About 300,000 of those individuals live in San Diego County.
The ACA was crafted and passed after a year-long process and significant deliberation by lawmakers. The law is not perfect, but tens of millions of Americans are now better off. Instead of repealing and replacing, Congress should be doing its job of working across the aisle to improve it.
As your representative in Congress, I would bring my extensive knowledge of health care and hospital oversight to improve the health care system for all Americans.
Environmental regulation is at the heart of our health and quality of life. The food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe are all cleaner and safer because of the Environmental Protection Agency, established under President Nixon in 1970.
California’s economy also benefits tremendously from better air quality and clean water. Our agriculture, clean power and innovation sectors are all thriving because of a commitment to environmental quality.
Moves to gut the EPA and efforts to curb climate change are short-sighted and put Americans’ health at risk. We don’t need to return to a time of polluted air and waterways as a tradeoff for jobs.
We are a nation of great talent and innovation that can work and develop jobs that embrace technology, taking advantage of the wind, solar and ocean energies and use them to create new industries. Priority should be given to retrain and hire those who have been without work as the market has embraced cleaner fuels and protection of our natural environment.
We must also protect our National Park system. The park system’s founder,
President Theodore Roosevelt, was an avid hunter, but he would likely not embrace Congressman Hunter’s recent vote to allow recreational shooting on 76 million Alaskan acres. The bill allows hunters to kill hibernating bears with their cubs, chase down predators by helicopter and kill wolf pups. In addition to that bill, Hunter signed another to allow the slaughter of 30,000 mustangs and burros rather than to continue the Bureau Of Land Management (BLM) program of rounding up the animals and selling them to citizens.
Social Security and Medicare
We should reject any efforts to privatize Social Security and Medicare. These programs are critical to the health and security of our seniors, who pay into it throughout their careers. In fact, the Medicare eligibility age should be lowered.
As a nation, our public schools have served us well on two fronts: academically and socially. Our students have enjoyed the opportunity to attend schools that have a universal standard of teaching with teachers who competitively seek out employment. Our colleges are sought out by students worldwide because they know they will receive the best education. We must keep the costs down, and as close to tuition-free as possible.
Socially, each public school is a mini environment mirroring the area the students live in. They learn to interact with others, learn diversity firsthand, and learn behaviors that only come with being in a large social setting, such as group discipline. I believe we do an injustice to children in not providing some part of their education in a public school. Charter schools are not the answer.
America used to celebrate our immigrants and our status as a “great melting pot,” and immigrants continue to contribute enormously to our nation. Some of our greatest scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs were immigrants. Closing our borders will not make us richer, socially or financially.
We should also not turn our backs on refugees, who are forced to leave their homelands because they fear for their lives. The world looks to the United States to lead.
The United States has the greatest military in the world, but our troops are lacking the updated equipment they need, such as drones, lightweight gear, and new technology that will keep them safe while preforming their duties.
I believe that it is the responsibility of the Generals and Admirals to make material requests of Congress. Congress should not be deciding for them what they will have based on what some donors have lobbied for.
Both my parents and most of the men in my family have served in the military, and I worked as an RN at the VA. I know the importance of quality care for our veterans as well as decent housing and educational benefits for active-duty personnel and their families.
In order to rebuild our middle class, we need to raise the minimum wage so that hard-working families don’t live in poverty.
We also must ensure equal pay for equal work in a world where women are as key to supporting families as men.
We can and should support the creation of jobs through promoting innovation in the private sector and by rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.