Issues

Healthcare

The challenge:
Our healthcare system is broken – nobody should go bankrupt over or have to hold fundraisers to pay for medical bills; COVID-19 has only further exposed the cracks and inequities in our healthcare system.

Americans spend more on healthcare per capita and have a far lower life expectancy than any other developed country in the world. Many of our neighbors are struggling to afford prescriptions, diagnostic tests and treatment, and routine doctor’s visits, a reality made worse by excessive layers of bureaucracy and price-gouging.

Where I stand:

Healthcare is a right. We need to create a system that works for all. Let’s take bold steps to achieve that goal

    • Provide access to quality care: All Minnesotans should have access to a public health insurance option that provides the same level of care that our elected officials have access to and that fairly compensates doctors for providing quality care.
    • For those who wish to use traditional health insurance: Let’s end “surprise billing” practices and set transparent default payment rates for services. Let’s support tax credits for low and middle class families to offset deductibles and premiums, increase market competition and expand telehealth.
    • Prescription drug prices: Let’s ensure that prescription prices reflect value and innovation, limit price increases to the rate of inflation, eliminate pharmaceutical corporations ability to negotiate drug prices with Medicare, increase accessibility to generic drugs.
    • Provide local resources: Let’s fund mental health care, reproductive health, and ensure that the local care services and programs that our neighbors need within our community have the funding they require to operate.

Education

The challenge:
Our K-12 public schools lack equitable funding needed to ensure that educators have the tools and resources they need to provide our students with a solid foundation to succeed. The quality of our public schools and our children’s futures should not be decided solely by their neighborhood or household income. The cost of higher education, both vocational and college, is currently out of reach for many.

Where I stand:

Education is the differentiator for economic autonomy. When we invest in our children, we are investing in a stronger community and tomorrow’s workers and leaders. Let’s work together to:

    • Secure equitable funding for safe and welcoming public schools
    • Invest in broadband infrastructure particularly in our rural and low-income communities
    • Offer hands-on experiential learning in potential career fields
    • Provide high-quality training and fair compensation for educators to reverse the critical shortage of talented educators
    • Close the achievement gap that’s present in our communities
    • Make higher education a gateway to the American Dream rather than a barrier.

Conservation/Climate

The challenge:
Our region is home to many corn, soybean, and wheat farmers whose way of life and financial security are currently at risk. Climate change is already disrupting growing seasons and yields, which will impact food quality and food security on a local, regional, and global level. It will also drastically alter the unique landscapes we’ve come to love and enjoy as anglers, hunters, and outdoors-enthusiasts alike due to increased flash flooding events which have become all too common in the past couple decades.

Where I stand:

Taking measures to slow and reverse the impacts of climate change is critical to our well-being. Now is the time to act to protect our local agriculture economy, and the health and beauty of Southeastern Minnesota’s ecosystems and landscapes. Let’s work together to:

    • Invest, subsidize, and incentivize a transition to clean energy
    • Revive local food systems and lower emissions by limiting large corporate land consolidation and implementing local supply
      chains
    • Provide continued advancement and adequate funding for local farmers working to keep soil and water healthy
    • Support the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources efforts to care for public lands, wildlife, habitat, and preserve our ability to access and enjoy those resources

Affordable Housing

The challenge:
From 2000 to 2017, Southern MN saw the largest gap between declining renter income and rising rent costs. This trend has made it increasingly difficult for many people in our district to afford rent or save for a down payment on a home.

Where I stand:

Stable housing is fundamental to a strong local economy and healthy communities. When families have access to safe and affordable housing we see positive health outcomes, higher academic achievement, increased household wealth, and vibrant communities where local businesses can grow and thrive. Let’s make sure that everyone in our communities has equal access to safe housing without fear of discrimination by taking these steps:

    • Provide tax incentives for the construction of affordable housing in communities with the greatest need
    • Revise local zoning regulations that limit affordable housing
    • Connect workers to jobs by investing in infrastructure and public transportation
    • Expand down payment assistance and housing benefits for those burdened by large student debts; for first responders, public school educators, and other local public workers who commit to underserved communities; and for others in marginalized communities
    • Increase protections for renters against eviction