I am counting on what Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate observed in his June 16 Gazette guest column — “Iowans are amazing” and that the “level of civic engagement among our citizens is unrivaled.”
As a candidate for U.S. Senate, I was invited to attend an election cybersecurity workshop hosted by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center in April. I was proud to hear Iowa’s own Paul Pate address the conference remotely. He is also president of the National Association of Secretaries of State and described Iowa’s work in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop the Center for internet Security’s Elections Best Practices tools for election officials. I believe that we in Iowa are in good hands and can appreciate Pate’s non-partisan communications, comprehensive efforts to ensure election integrity, and encouragement of voter participation.
As Iowa’s independent candidate for U.S. Senate, my goal is to offer similarly dedicated, objective and responsive public service to address the long-neglected and increasingly urgent issues of our time. An undeniably divisive, partisan and dysfunctional legislative branch has been driving the Supreme Court to settle more and more issues that should have been resolved with legislation. Political party power plays prevent individual legislators from executing the duties of their office to enforce reasonable checks and balances on the executive branch.
This year it is critical that Iowa voters recognize the historic opportunity we have to reestablish our political leadership role in Washington. Electing an independent, non-partisan senator takes advantage of the current narrow-party-majority in the U.S. Senate — granting our state valuable leverage that political party money-managed power-plays cannot buy. Maine shouldn’t be the only state that enjoys common-sense, non-partisan, effective representation in the U.S. Senate.
My goal is to represent the majority of Iowans — the many independents, Republicans and Democrats alike whose voices have been drown out by the loudest extremists from both parties. There are practical and enduring legislative solutions that most of us can agree on to tackle critical issues.
Healthcare reform may be the best example of this. Neither major political party is focused on the most practical solutions that would most immediately provide fair access to quality, affordable health care for all Iowans and Americans. The key is to empower and protect us all as health care consumers. We have to restructure health insurance and health care services markets to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This can only be done if we completely dissociate access to private health insurance from employment (somewhat like the way you purchase car or homeowners insurance).
We cannot achieve the transparency and simplicity required to track funding, provision and use of health care services until we do this. Only then can the right economic incentives be established so that individuals, public health entities, service providers and insurers work together to improve health, minimize administrative costs, and deliver quality, efficient care. This would allow government to play a more appropriate monitoring and regulation role to support the system, and the most vulnerable people — with more efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars.
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People and most business will immediately benefit and cheer the transition, while insurers and service providers will encounter variable adaptability challenges. Big monopolies will find they have to contend with a more competitive playing field, while small rural health care entities will likely find they receive more reliable revenue. See my YouTube video for details, or visit HerzogforUSsenate.com.
So Iowans, keep up the tradition of great civic engagement and please make sure to consider all the options you will be presented with on November’s ballot.
Suzanne Herzog is a no-party candidate for U.S. Senate in Iowa.