California is home to 2,000,000 Veterans. President Trump’s Forever GI Bill was enacted in 2017 and was supported by every member of Congress. In other words, both major parties, Republicans and Democrats, agreed unanimously to support our Veterans nationwide in all arenas of life: healthcare, housing, employment, education, to name a few. We must ensure the proper enforcement and efficiency of this bill in order to serve the ones who have served us. The VA has made significant improvement since the Trump Administration; nonetheless, there are some key areas where we can improve.
Mental health disorders such as PTSD and depression are among the top contributors for the decline in the overall well-being of a Veteran. Suicide rates have increased among the Veterans and non-veterans at the same level, i.e. approximately 20 suicides per day. However, the suicide rate increased among Veterans who failed to receive quality healthcare compared to Veterans that did receive healthcare.
To properly help the Veterans assimilate in the civilian life, we must hold our government accountable to do its job. We must hold ourselves accountable by allowing a smooth and effective transition for all Veterans into civilian life. If we believe that healthcare is something that should be made a priority for all Americans, then certainly, Veterans should not be alienated from this top-level healthcare. Most importantly, it is our civic duty to ensure that Veteran care in all arenas of life is one of the top priorities.
Orange County Veteran Cemetery
Currently, Orange County Veterans do not have the option of choosing Orange County as a place to be laid to rest. I am advocating we build a Veteran Cemetery at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Irvine. Our neighbor counties: Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego, all have a veteran cemetery; it is time we build one for Veterans here in the 45th Congressional District. I will work with the Irvine City Council and the California State Legislature to expedite the creation of an Orange County Veteran Cemetery.
California is the highest taxed state in the Country. We have given $419 billion to the state of California and another $370 billion to the Federal Government while both the state and federal government run billions and even trillions in deficits and debt. Since the 2018 election, taxes have gone up in Orange County cities by 3%. If the taxes we pay can’t even be used effectively or efficiently, why should we give the government more?
The last thing an average middle-class family needs is an increase in taxes. We need a tax break with a cut in both state and federal spending. We must help families stay out of poverty or becoming homeless by reducing the tax burden many families are saddled with. Over 50% of the average Californians income goes to taxes, and the state and federal governments are still running deficits! We must STOP TAX HIKES NOW.
Our national debt has doubled since 2009 and is projected to exceed annual GDP by 2026. It is unacceptable to borrow from future generations. If our debt continues to increase, we face higher interest rates that will reduce investment and damper economic growth permanently. Our credit will also significantly suffer as foreign investors will be less likely to purchase our debt, causing the value of the U.S. dollar to collapse. If you are overwhelmed by reading this alone, trust me when I say that I am fully prepared to take on these challenges. It’s time to start making some common-sense decisions about our nation’s financial obligations before it is too late. And we can start this by making effective choices in Orange County.
The government is responsible for maintaining secure borders and thereby, protect the nation. The government is failing to protect our borders. The government is neither a humanitarian agency nor a non-profit religious organization; it is solely responsible for the people who reside within its’ borders.
Our country, our economy, and our culture have been enriched by those who come to our country seeking the American Dream and a chance at a better life. But millions of illegal immigrants continually crossing our border without our knowledge threatens our national security. I oppose amnesty. Those who are not American Citizens or legal immigrants, do not have a right to our services. We must secure our borders and stop playing political games. Legal immigration is a tremendous benefit to our country. But in order to protect our nation and reform the immigration process, we must know who is and is not entering our country. That cannot be done without securing our border.
Make no mistake –I am empathetic to the obstacles of our neighboring nations; however, it is my civic duty to serve the people in our country first. Serving the people of the United States of America is my number one priority; similarly, it is my recommendation that other nations should step-up so that their vulnerable population is not forced to break our laws, such as crossing the border illegally.
Protecting Orange County Families
Since the inception of our nation, healthcare debate has always followed economic debate, making it one of the top two issues near and dear to all Americans. For as long as I can remember, I was taught to serve and to never leave a fellow American behind. I hold the same values when it comes to healthcare and its relationship to people. Americans should be afforded the opportunity to have access to quality healthcare. While there is no doubt that every individual should have access to quality healthcare, the solutions to achieving this goal is subjective, i.e. it varies from group.
- ·Veteran Healthcare
- ·Small Business Employer-Employee Healthcare
- ·Corporate Health Care
- ·Student Healthcare
- ·Disabled, Vulnerable Healthcare
- ·Crisis Mode Healthcare
- ·Senior Healthcare
The needs of each group is specific and too large to generalize it under one-plan-fits-all approach. For example, an annual blood screening is enough for a typical college-age student; however, this is not the case for our seniors and at times, among the vulnerable and disable population. I will work to tackle healthcare one group at a time.
Psychiatric hospitalizations have increased in Orange County in the last five years. Anxiety and depression are the leading mental health diagnosis among teenagers. Typically, patients go through 5-6 psychiatric hospitalizations before they are stabilized. Finding the right medication is challenging and a journey in itself. With proper guidance and effective advocacy, mental health issues can be resolved; however, if left unchecked, it can add to homelessness and rise in crime.
Pre-Existing Condtions Protections
I believe in pre-existing condtions protections with the belief that everyone deserves access to affordable health insurance and should not be punished for having a pre-existing health condition. I want to lower the cost of health care for families, preserve Medicaid, and reduce prescription drug prices to bolster protections for people with preexisting conditions. Protecting Orange County families is my number one priority, and that starts by making sure that we all have access to quality healthcare.
Prescription Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
We must carefully assess and enforce effective prescribing procedures. Opioid addiction is an epidemic across the nation and Orange County is not an exception. Approximately, 130 people die in America daily due to opioid overdose. One answer to this is to hold doctors accountable in their prescribing practices. Another answer is to generate innovative methods to dispose unwanted medication, thereby, preventing unethical distribution of drugs. We must also work with the FBI to go after the criminal elements that are distributing prescription opioid drugs through the dark web and inside the US postal system.
As much as I am passionate about Veterans, healthcare, housing, economy, and all these issues; we will not be able to talk about them if we overlook national security issues. Given that I know my way around the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. and Congress it should not come to you as a surprise that I am well versed in national security issues. Homegrown terrorism, international terrorism, manufactured global health crisis, nuclear weapons across the globe are problems that must be addressed. Issues in the Western Hemisphere, Middle East, Asia, Africa, Eastern-Europe are all the regions that affect Orange County directly and indirectly when it comes to implementing strategic domestic and foreign policy. My world and national experience make me a perfect fit to go to Washington, D.C. to work on these critical problems.