Friday, August 29, 2008

Maryland’s response to Hillsider Questionnaire

1. Affordable health care
Our country and culture have many social problems. However, keeping Medicare viable and effective is our largest long term public challenge today.
In Minnesota, Medicare, Minnesota Medical Assistance and Minnesota Care furnish health care to a large portion of our population. Along with these health plans and employer furnished health plans, there are still a large number of our citizens without health insurance. For the uninsured, I would propose a base health insurance plan where the premiums would not exceed 6 percent of their gross income. We should also explore the Massachusetts Health Plan which has been in effect for three years and includes all citizens of the state.
I have had the privilege to practice medicine for 50 years in Minnesota and in the 7B District of Duluth. With this experience I see this public issue from both sides. I believe I have ideas to deliver health care with more efficiency and reduced costs.
2. Livable wage
A livable wage issue is complex because of fluctuating economic times. This issue is a symptom of our local larger problem. District 7B has large segments of land not being efficiently used. We need new and vibrant industry to move into our area. Government incentives like inexpensive land and less tax for a period of time will help create a favorable environment.
3. Federal and state aid to cities, and taxes
I am not in favor of our city government to offer loans or bonding which can default. Note the past failed city projects.
With vibrant industry and manufacturing, more citizens are employed which increase revenues and high paid wages which improves our total economy. Therefore, the solution to our wage problem is more industry, manufacturing and employment.
4. Closing unfair racial inequities.
Racial and ethnic inequities have been present in human cultures since the dawn of history. Every civilization has had this terrible track record which eventually destroys the culture. We as Americans must not fall into this trap. Education of our citizens with tolerance is essential. We must judge our fellow Man by their behavior and character, not by their ethnic background or skin color.