Issues

Health Care

Every American should enjoy the kind of comprehensive healthcare that a service member enjoys in the U.S. military. Health care should include lifetime dental, mental, and preventative healthcare.

To get there, Mike will move to fully implement and improve upon the Affordable Care Act and place a Medicare public option on the exchange. Banning private health insurance is not the direction needed to ensure every American has access to quality care. Moreover, Medicare should be available for all who want it. Medicare should always be protected, it should be made solvent for the long term, and it should never be a bargaining chip.

Further, Mike knows the challenge associated with mental illness. Expanded treatment opportunities are desperately needed. The first step in addressing America’s mental health crisis is by improving the nation’s statutes and resources for the treatment of mental health. Access and inpatient options need to be expanded to treat the chronic shortage of opportunities for this vital aspect of healthcare.

Similarly, Mike considers dental care indispensable to quality of life. Therefore, it should be part of an expanded Affordable Care Act and not a mere luxury for those with high-end insurance plans.

Healthcare and treatment start in our communities, not in Washington. That’s why Mike plans on investing in community health centers, to ensure that people can be treated in their communities by their neighbors.

Climate Crisis

The climate crisis is the greatest existential threat of our time. This is not just an Iowan issue or an American issue, but the issue of our time. Addressing climate change will require the international community’s full attention, investment, and top-down/bottom-up leadership. We need to lead the world community in forward-leaning, environmentally-friendly technologies.

Mike’s response to climate change starts with Iowa’s agriculture. Iowa’s fertile topsoil and leadership in bioenergy position Iowans to be trailblazers in carbon sequestration. Reaping that opportunity presents boundless benefits for Iowa and the nation.

In Washington, Mike will introduce carbon pricing legislation to curb dangerous emissions. He will further mandate that revenue raised is returned to households and invested in green technology. Carbon pricing works at both ends.

Beyond our borders, it is imperative that America rejoin the Paris Agreement, because the world looks to U.S. leadership in addressing climate issues. To help stave off tumultuous weather changes, the U.S. needs to tax carbon, implement ethanol efficiency standards, and focus on sustainable food production. Taking this a step further, addressing climate change is a national security imperative.

America can and must lead on climate change. As a person who appreciates science, a more future is infinitely possible.

Special Interests

Iowan’s have gotten raw deal from Joni Ernst. Her voting record screams special interests. Iowans deserve a Senator who will work for Iowa’s children, this nation, and this Earth. Mike will not do the bidding of special interests.

The first item to address is tax reform. Mike commits to implementing fairer tax policies and eliminating loopholes used by large corporations and the very wealthy to ensure that they pay less than ordinary folks. Mike will also work to more stridently enforce antitrust laws and confirm judges who will help to overturn Citizens United.

Social Security

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke of the Social Security Act, he said that it would provide “equitable and effective protection to the people of this country.” For decades, social security has been under attack. Social security is part of the fabric of America, and Mike will treat and defend it as such.

Mike will start by protecting social security’s solvency. Right now, future generations are being saddled with paying for seniors’ social security checks and their own too. Congress must provide for long term solvency by eliminating the $137,300 cap on Social Security payments.

Mike will also protect Social Security from privatization. It is not sensible to pay Wall Street for a more poorly managed system.

Finally, to protect those seniors who need it the most, Social Security payments must be increased for those beneficiaries with modest incomes. Social Security must be sufficient for the most vulnerable among us.

Women’s Health

Mike support a woman’s right to choose. He will defend that right, and he will reject any judicial nominees who threaten a women’s choice.

Mike knows that Democrats cannot simply play defense on this issue: government must play an activist role in supporting women’s health. Besides full funding for Planned Parenthood and associated programs, Mike supports universal access to long active reversible contraceptives (LARC) that have proven to reduce unintended teen pregnancies and abortions by half.

Infrastructure

America’s infrastructure is crumbling. Wise infrastructure investments have not kept pace with effect of climate change, heavier road usage, new technology, and transport options. This investment needs to be on the scale not seen since the Eisenhower administration. This time, particular emphasis is needed in infrastructure development in depressed communities and rural areas.

Transportation and the environment go hand in hand. To ensure that public transportation is accessible to all, Mike plans to expand high speed rail, invest in electric buses, and build charging stations across state roads and interstates to lower the costs of electric cars. This way, America’s productivity can increase while lowering our carbon footprint.

Finally, Mike will ensure rural communities and economically depressed areas have access to high speed internet — whether in Des Moines or Mike’s hometown of Lebanon. This will be an effort on the scale of rural electrification and of the same lasting benefit.

Gun Violence

There are common sense solutions to lessen gun violence in America; this includes suicides by firearm. Here is an opportunity to decrease the influence of gun rights radicals.

Mike wants to ensure that guns are in the hands of people who are fit and capable to own them. He will ensure civilian gun owners undergo the training needed to be competent in safe operation, storage, and maintenance of weapons. These procedures benefit gun owners and non-gun owners across the nation.

With the advent of new technologies, controls must be in place to restrict the unauthorized construction of weapons and weapon components. Moreover, a military grade firearm must have constraints place on it to include magazine size.

Finally, America must commit to better understanding the causes and pathologies of gun violence. As Senator, Mike will introduce legislation to form a committee to understand why so many of our sons and daughters are lost to such senseless, ugly violence.

Mike owned his first gun at age eight. A lifetime in military service has given him a unique perspective that common sense solutions to firearm ownership that both enhance the privilege of gun ownership and keep Americans safe.

Immigration

The Trump Administration has taken an already broken immigration system and, with great incompetence and greater cruelty, gravely worsened the problem.

On day one in office, Mike will introduce legislation to free children from CBP’s cages and reunite separated families. Mike will also forge paths to citizenship for DACA and other long-term residents, many of whom came into this country through no fault of their own. Mike believes that Americans cannot continue to look ourselves in the mirror if we punish children for the choices of their parents.

Immigration policy must benefit our local businesses too. Enacting a comprehensive plan that greatly expands worker-VISA programs will make sure that local employers have the necessary staff to run their businesses and serve their communities. And ensuring those immigrants have the necessary documentation will mean that they provide a tax base for those same communities. Iowa needs immigrants.

America’s immigration program can serve our interests, but it can also highlight immigrants’ humanity and our humanity as hosts. Emphases on economic rationality and empathy can act in kind.

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