Opinion: Vote for the work horse in CD-3
Diane Mitsch Bush
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
This election is a race between a work horse and a show horse, between pragmatic solutions and ideological extremism. I am running for Congress to roll up my sleeves and get to work for the people of the 3rd Congressional District. I’ve spent this campaign talking with and listening to constituents. They prioritized three main issues: lowering health care costs, creating good paying jobs and protecting our public lands.
First, I will work to lower our high health care costs. My top priority is protecting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act, especially its coverage for pre-existing conditions.
My opponent would repeal the ACA, which would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to more than 300,000 people in CD-3 with pre-existing conditions. Repealing the ACA would also eliminate the ACA’s mental health parity provisions, roll back Colorado’s Medicaid expansion — taking coverage away from thousands of people in our district — and prevent young people from staying on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26. ACA repeal would be disastrous, especially in the middle of the pandemic.
I will work to end surprise billing, one of the leading causes of family bankruptcy in the U.S, and protect the Children’s Health Insurance Program because working parents rely on it. I’ll get funding and resources for our rural hospitals and clinics — as well as increase telehealth services for rural residents.
I’ll take on Big Pharma and their corporate lobbyists to lower prescription drug costs. One of the best ways to do that is by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which the Veterans Administration already does. Because they can negotiate, the VA pays a fraction of what Medicare does for medicine. There’s no need to recreate the wheel — let’s use a system that works to get people the prescriptions they need.
Second, I’ll work to create good paying jobs for people across CD-3 by establishing a federal infrastructure bank to fund improvements to transportation infrastructure, the electric grid, broadband and water infrastructure. This will jumpstart our economy, help businesses and get people back to work. Funding these projects will rebuild our communities and provide real opportunity with good paying jobs.
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Infrastructure investment has major multiplier effects, especially in rural areas. For example, expanding broadband access helps employ people, provides internet access for small businesses and completing school work remotely and allows us to take advantage of telehealth services. In the wake of COVID, our communities need real solutions. Investing in infrastructure helps our local businesses, hard working families and our communities to thrive and succeed.
Coronavirus showed us that our medical supply chain is extremely weak, often relying on foreign supplies. I propose incentivizes for small American business to produce much needed medical supplies right here. Producing those medical supplies here is one of many solutions, and it will create new businesses opportunities, more employment opportunities and good paying manufacturing jobs here.
Finally, I will always fight to protect our public lands. They’re our heart, soul and a major economic driver in CD-3. Ranchers, hunters and anglers depend on them. They are the source of our water and major wildlife habitat. They drive our outdoor economy — generating more than 500,000 good paying jobs for outfitters, outdoor manufacturing, retail and many other kinds of businesses across western and southern Colorado. Our economy in CD-3 relies on our public lands.
We must defend our public lands and strengthen the outdoor economy with legislation like the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act. Boebert has called it a “land grab by Denver’s liberals.” That’s false. Ranchers, hunters, anglers, rural county commissioners, conservationists, small business owners, recreation groups and sportsmen all worked together in seven Western Slope counties for a decade to draft the principles that became the CORE Act. It protects more than 400,000 acres of public land and bolsters our outdoor economy.
I’m talking with Coloradans every day about how we address issues facing veterans, businesses, family ranchers, health care, education, water and more. For me, this race is about solving problems. I focus on evidence-based, practical solutions, not divisive partisan fights or becoming a national celebrity.
My strong bipartisan record shows I have consistently brought people together with real solutions for the problems we face. I promise to leave my ego at the Capitol steps and work across the aisle to be the pragmatic, accountable, independent leader you deserve. I would be honored to earn your vote.
Diane Mitsch Bush is the Democrat candidate running for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
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Two well-known Democratic state lawmakers say they are already exploring whether to launch a bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert next year, just weeks into the fiery Republican’s term.