Wendy for Governor Campaign

Wendy Barth is running for the Governor of Iowa on the Green Party ticket, along with running mate Richard Johnson candidate for Lt. Governor.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

NPAT Survey

My copy of the Project Vote Smart NPAT survey went out via US mail yesterday. The form is long, and I haven't taken the time to type it all in to my web site yet. But since it's been a hot topic in the governor's race this week, I thought I'd share the experience with you.

First of all, on the subject of abortion, let me make my position perfectly clear.

Abortions should be legal:
  • In the first trimester, or
  • When the life or health of the woman is endangered, or
  • In cases of severe fetal abnormality
After all the formatted questions, they ask for, in 75 words or less, the two or three priorities of my campaign, and if these priorities cost money, how I would fund them. My initial response:

Priorities of the Barth for Governor Campaign

  1. Stop the rampant pollution from CAFOs. 450 hog manure spills in the past 10 years are 450 too many. Each CAFO will submit to regular inspections to confirm that their manure management plan is adequate and being implemented successfully. Registration fees will cover the administrative costs for this inspection. New inspectors will be trained, which will add many jobs to the economy. High fines will be imposed for manure spills that spoil surface water or groundwater. Improper management of manure will be fined as well. Air quality will be sampled regularly, and if found to be a health threat to the neighbors, a serious fine will be imposed.

  2. Universal single-payer health care. Note that I did not say insurance. Insurance is a great method for mitigating risk, but not suitable for routine maintenance. Does your auto insurance pay for your oil changes or your brake jobs? No, but you expect your health insurance to cover your annual checkup. My plan is to implement universal single-payer health care in two phases. The first phase separates routine health maintenance from health catastrophes. Routine care includes regular check-ups, diagnostic tests, childbirth, emergency treatment, and hospice, and would be paid for by the state. Catastrophic events include chemotherapy, open heart surgery, kidney transplants – these big ticket items will continue to be covered by the insurance industry, as this is what insurance does best. Doctors and hospitals will be salaried by the state. This will remove elaborate process that doctors go through trying to get insurance companies to pay their claims, which will reduce the expense of routine maintenance significantly. The cost will be covered by a payroll deduction tax which will at most match the reduction in premiums from the insurance, so people will see no difference in their take-home pay. As we get the system tuned, I expect the tax will be reduced as costs go down.
    In the later phase, several years in the future, the state takes over the catastrophic payments as well.
If you start to count the words, you don't even get half-way through the first issue before 75 words are used up. So I had to whittle it down quite a bit, like this:

Priorities of the Barth for Governor Campaign

  1. Stop the rampant pollution from CAFOs. Each CAFO will submit to regular inspections confirming that their manure management system is successful. Registration fees cover administrative costs. Impose high fines for manure spills.
  1. Universal single-payer routine health care separate routine health maintenance from catastrophes. Routine care covered by the state, catastrophic events covered by insurance. Doctors and hospitals will be salaried, eliminating billing expenses. Costs will be covered by a payroll deduction tax which will at most match the reduction in insurance premiums.
I'll leave it to the reader to decide which statement is better.


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