*Universal Health Care Coverage:
In Medicare, 99 percent of expenditures go to providers and patients—only 1 percent goes to administrative overhead. In for-profit health care, administrative costs are up to twenty times higher due to multimillion-dollar CEO salaries and dividends to investors. The cost of Medicare could be reduced further by simplifying it and getting rid of unnecessary regulations, but the cost of private health care could be reduced enormously by lowering administrative costs.
I am strongly against privatizing Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.
As a nation, we need to get away from the idea that the free market will fix everything. That’s not true, and it’s especially not true about health care. Health care isn’t a commodity, where the price is the most important factor in the buying decision. And no one—especially the poor—should have to worry about the price of a lifesaving operation being too expensive for their budget.
*Native American Tribal Issues
The attitude of the federal government toward Native American tribes has been condescending for far too long. I believe that the government should honor its treaties with Utah’s native tribes—no exceptions.
Tribes should be able to prosecute crimes committed on their lands, make their own laws, and practice self-determination in as wide a purview as possible. The federal government should invest in infrastructure, communications, transportation, education, and addiction treatment programs on tribal lands. Above all, there should be no more broken promises.
Native Americans living on reservations are American citizens, and deserve the same rights as all the rest of us—including the right to vote at an accessible, convenient location.
*Climate Change & Science
We must honor the truth. We cannot make good policy unless we base our understanding firmly upon verifiable facts. Facts are reality, and we ignore them at our peril. A lie does not become true just because it gets repeated over and over again. I am appalled at how false news sources have penetrated our society through the internet. Misleading memes and badly sourced “news” articles are lies attempting to manipulate the vulnerable. These fake stories have weakened the civility of discourse in our society. Everyone has a responsibility to check the facts before sharing and reject unreliable news sources.
Science is the best process human beings have found for discovering the truth. The new technologies science brings us can be used either to help or harm mankind. But the truth itself has no agenda. I am appalled at the lack of respect for science that the Trump administration has shown. We need to use the facts we’ve learned from science to make effective policy.
As a family doctor, I’ve learned over the years that complex health problems require complex treatments. The same is true of public policy. We can no longer afford to deceive ourselves by thinking that complex issues can be solved with simple fixes. It’s simply not true. In our real world, complex problems need innovative, detailed solutions.