Economic Opportunity

My campaign is about creating a society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive - where individuals can work hard in well-paying jobs, where our West Michigan businesses prosper, and where families have easy access to affordable health care, housing, and education that is fundamental to human flourishing.

Inspired by the life of Jesus, I have spent my adult life fighting for those who have been left out and disadvantaged. I’ve listened to many people’s stories and have learned that we have much work to do - many of our systems are broken, unjust, and in desperate need of reimagining and repair.  I am committed to making a difference.

I am also committed to making wise investments in our future - in our human capital, in our infrastructure, and in the next generation by striving to make this country just as fiscally responsible as our families and businesses must be.

 Affordable Prescription Drugs 

The way U.S. drugmakers price their products is legal, but it’s not moral. I will work towards structural change so businesses and families pay fair prices for the drugs they need.

More than 10% of our annual healthcare dollars now go to prescription drugs, and we pay more than people in any other developed country. How can that be?

For far too long, the large pharmaceutical companies have had American businesses and American consumers in a pinch: we need their life-saving drugs, so we are at their mercy when they increase prices. Members of Congress, in both parties, have not had the political will to take them on.  

If elected, I will fight for structural reform, to immediately allow the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to get a lower price on medications for people on Medicare. Buying drugs in bulk will bring down costs, benefiting both the consumer and the taxpayer.

People recognize that most pharmaceutical companies are for-profit companies that require significant upfront funding to develop life-saving drugs. I believe we can find a way to allow the United States to remain the world leader in finding new cures and treatments, while also protecting families from predatory price increases by the pharmaceutical industry. 

For too long, big pharmaceutical firms have bought influence through campaign donations and politicians have looked the other way as prescription drug prices have skyrocketed. Pharmaceutical companies spend big on lobbying and profit handsomely in return for campaign contributions. Over the past decade, drug makers have doled out nearly $2.5 billion to U.S. legislators – dollars that have led to reduced competition, beefed up patent protections and skyrocketing prices. 

I won’t be accepting any contributions from this industry, or any corporate PAC, in my campaign. If elected, I pledge to fight for increased checks and balances on the pharmaceutical industry and to end the egregious and predatory pricing strategies that hurt West Michigan families.