One of those candidates is former local television journalist Patty Weiss, who for thirty years was a trusted news anchor at NBC affiliate KVOA-TV. Through those years, Weiss developed a deep understanding of the issues facing Southern Arizonans and committed herself to a number of service-related projects that offer succor to diverse elements of the community. Weiss experiences as journalist and activist focused her on pragmatic solutions and decision making on problems that are affecting Congressional District 8 and the country at large.
One of the vital issues facing America today is healthcare. Premiums have skyrocketed and 43 million citizens have no medical insurance. Millions more have found themselves stuck in the gap between ineligibility for state Medicaid programs and draconian deductibles built in to private insurance. Americans needs universal healthcare. Were the only industrialized nation in the world that doesnt provide some kind of government health assistance for workers said Weiss. It would be fairly easy to implement a program that operates in a similar manner as good old Medicare A, which offers an 80/20 plan to the retired with a two percent overhead. A nationalized healthcare system could work extremely well, covering basic and catastrophic patient needs. Payments could be made through paychecks; much like Medicare A is taken out of Social Security. For people who are underemployed or working in the minimum wage range, a sliding scale can be used so those people will have access to health care for themselves and their family.
Weiss believes that keeping medical care under the rubric of private insurance foolish, as it damages our ability to be competitive in the global marketplace. Weiss says even with a nationalized health care system in place, private insurers will still be able to generate revenue. People will always have a need for supplemental insurance, thats just common sense. But to allow private insurers complete control of health management is dangerous to our employers, workers and economy.
Weiss is also concerned about the role of Arizona agribusiness. Agribusinesses are going across the Mexican border selling corn cheaply. This has been going on for years, and it has put thousands of Mexican farmers out of work. Those Mexican farmers are among the thousands who cross into the US every year looking for a way to support their families. Weiss thinks that if the US really wanted to solve the immigration problem, theyd prevent American agribusiness from undercutting Mexican trade, a subject neither state or federal lawmakers address. Once the fed has a realistic immigration policy, the states will back off she says and will take care of a lot of the vindictive state bills which call for sanctions on government workers, educational institutions and landlords who are open to providing for immigrant workers.
The foreign policy of the US also concerns Weiss. President Bush as the lone ranger doesnt work. Its costs too much in blood and money Weiss said. We need a multi-lateral approach in dealing with Iran and Iraq. Weiss thinks the US has blown whatever chance it had in creating a diplomatic solution for the myriad problems in the Middle East. We need the few Arab and Muslim allies we have left to work in creating accords with both countries. In Iraq, as long as a disparity exists in revenue sharing of oil profits between the Kurds, Shia and Sunni, there is going to be conflict. Theres nothing we can do about the ethnic, tribal and religious differences, and our troops are inflaming the problems there and putting Iraqi lives and the fragile government at risk. The US needs to appeal to our allies in the area to bring about compromises between the factions, regardless of whether Iraq remains one country or federalizes into three.
Larry Sakin is a former music executive and medical non-profit administrator. He has published a number of articles in both fields and is currently writing a book about coping with loss. More of his work can be found on www.blogcritics.org, www.changeforamerica.com, and Charlottes Other Web.