Time to make some changes

Posted: Friday, October 31, 2008

Many have asked, "Doc, why would you run for Senate?" Well, let me tell you.

I am haunted by the patient's I see dying or suffering because they can't access the medical system. There was a 20-year-old mother with liver disease who needed a transplant and was told "bring us $50,000 and then we'll talk to you." She died.

There was a 40-year-old short order cook who was taking good care of her three kids in humble circumstances but felt that she couldn't afford medical screening. As a result, I saw her after she had incurable cervical cancer. She died leaving those three kids.

There are patients who have to choose between buying their medications or eating. Why does this happen in this country?

As a school board, we worked hard to try to get adequate funding for our schools. Not implementing the area cost differential was costing us $10 million a year. Our representatives fought against members of their own party to try to correct this problem. I was very disappointed that our Senator was strangely silent.

I feel the only way to accomplish the peoples' business is to work together. My state senator not only felt the opposition party members were enemies but started calling his fellow Republicans names and seemed to blame his ineffectiveness on them.

Enough is enough. I felt I had to do something about it.

Now, there will be sacrifices should you choose me to represent you. I will not be able to see as many patients. We will bring in another doctor to help at the office during the time the legislature is in session. Like most of the legislature, I do plan to keep my day job when not in session. Full-time politicians are not the true essence of a government OF the people, FOR the people, and BY the people.

Here are the priorities I would like to work on:

1) A bullet gas line coming to the Kenai. This pipeline will allow us more affordable heating and will allow us to bring industry and jobs to the area with companies such as Agrium and Dow Chemical.

2) Fund our schools fairly now! Our students are our most important investment.

3) Improve access to health care for those in need. There is not a complete solution at this time, but I have seven different ideas that I think will help. See the Web site for details. I'm sure through collaborative efforts we can do better.

4) Prevent the elimination of the certificate of need which will RUIN our hospital. I believe our hospital needs to remain under local control and provide services for the indigent as well as the affluent. My opponent is well-meaning but entirely wrong in thinking that unfettered competition and selling the hospital will improve medical services. It will drive up costs, lose jobs, and lose services on the peninsula. This will force people to travel to Anchorage and elsewhere for care. Please see my Web site www.nelsanderson.com for an explanation of why this is a bad idea.

5) Build a spirit of cooperation, not animosity between legislators and parties. We have too much to accomplish to worry about partisan politics.

6) Save our surplus. It is very tempting with excess money to fund every worthy project we can see. We need to be able to say no to some ideas and save for future needs.

There is a lot more I could list, but let's start there. I can't do any of this alone -- no one can.

I can give no promises other than to work hard, build trust, respect others, and listen to you.

I think we can do something here. Something big. Something better.

If you'd like that, join me and I'd like your vote.

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