A Businesswoman for Washington
Everyone should be able to afford to see a doctor when they are sick. The Affordable Care Act was a good step in the right direction toward providing health insurance for every American. Over 500,000 Kentuckians now have health insurance either through the Exchange or Medicaid. Emergency rooms are no longer flooded with uninsured individuals who had no access to local doctors and preventive medical services. Over time, citizens will become healthier when they have regular, quality medical care. But there are many problems with ACA that need to be fixed. We need more transparency with respect to healthcare costs and services. When you put the consumer into the equation, costs will become competitive with fewer billing mistakes. We must focus on the best, most efficient way to deliver healthcare to the citizens.
The employer-based healthcare model is abused by companies who hire people as temporary labor or part-time. We should reward companies who provide full-time positions with quality healthcare benefits.
I look forward to working towards a single-payer model, perhaps allowing those who do not receive health insurance through their employer to be able to purchase Medicare, particularly those over 50. I am keeping my mind open to ideas and will work together to fix the problems.
A Job for Everyone
Every able-bodied citizen should be working in a job that pays a decent, livable wage with benefits. Too many industries have loopholes and are not paying their fair share, while small businesses are shouldering the burden of high taxes and increasing employee expenses. We must be wise with our tax dollars; investing in projects and communities that will create jobs and lead to growth and development. Strengthening our workforce is a top priority and by offering employer-paid training and education grants for adults, we will allow people to gain the skills they need to secure a better-paying job, therefore contributing back to the tax system. There are jobs available, but we don’t have the ready workforce to fill them. We must make apprenticeship programs accessible and affordable, knowing that the outcome will increase and strengthen the job market and our economy.
Rebuilding the Middle Class is my top priority. Business and individual tax reforms are necessary to both simplify our tax code and provide a growth-driven, more fair system. It is not fair when a small company pays a 35% rate while another major corporation pays below 10% or nothing. There are several current sections of the tax code that need extending or will be eliminated, therefore negatively impacting job growth. Small businesses are restricted with respect to ownership and shareholders, and need relief to gain more capital for job creation. There are no easy solutions with respect to taxes, but Congress has a duty to put the citizens and job creators first, above all special interest groups when making reforms to our tax code. We must never default on our debt, but must find ways to become more efficient and reduce the tax burden on the middle class.
Action must be taken to encourage entrepreneurship which is being stifled because of high tax rates and healthcare costs. Incentives for innovators, entrepreneurs and small businesses will grow the real engine of our economy.
When a young adult graduates from high school, they should be prepared for higher education or a technical career that includes training and apprenticeship. When a young person completes his or her post-secondary education and begins their adult life saddled with debt, our system is broken. Education is an investment in our future and we must hold our institutions accountable, while making sure that every student and every family is able to afford to pursue their dreams. Our education budget should be centered on affordability and accountability. Teachers should be free to teach and students should have gained value from their education. I will listen to the teachers and educators who are experts in education, not bureaucrats who have another agenda. We must get this right.
We are on the cusp of a major shift in energy and transportation technology. Government’s role is to support, not restrict new, cleaner energy forms and to provide educational grants and incentives for companies who are taking bold steps for the future. Lobbying by traditional energy forms has not only cost us jobs, but are halting the growth of the future. Every lost coal job in Kentucky could be replaced with solar energy jobs if government will remove the chokehold they have on the new industry. America needs to lead once again, and not follow other nations like China and India on clean energy development.
Protecting Medicare without turning it into a voucher program is a top priority for me. I will not support privatizing Medicare and we should increase the buying power of the Medicare system to leverage cost savings, particularly with pharmaceuticals. Big pharma has lobbied to keep costs high and restrict Washington from negotiating for lower drug costs. I will work to help bring down costs and protect our seniors from any changes to Medicare that puts them at risk.
Social Security is solid for the next two decades and by increasing the annual maximum limit, we can keep it solvent well into the future. Our citizens and employers have paid into the Social Security system and we must fight against any efforts to jeopardize the system.
The bottom line is we need to put Washington back on the side of the people, working to strengthen the middle class and support our job creators. In a democracy, everyone counts and no matter the issue that comes before Congress, I will always put the sound of the voices back home before any special interest. I give you my word and I’m ready.
Piatt for Congress | P.O. Box 73151 | Bellevue, KY 41073