The Opioid Epidemic

The State of Maine loses one person per day to the opioid epidemic.  There isn’t a family or community in the state that hasn’t been impacted by the extreme loss of life.  America is facing the same crisis as the state of Maine; it is imperative for the federal government to act before the problem ruins more lives and ruptures more homes.  It is not an exaggeration to stress that at the current rate, the United States is at risk of losing a large swathe of an entire generation to the epidemic.  As a recovered drug addict and alcoholic with ten years of sobriety, Will knows the pain of addiction and the possibility that comes with recovery.  Recovery is possible- but with every day that passes, more lives are damaged or lost.  

 

Will champions:

  • Mandates that encourage treatment and drug court before resorting to incarceration.
  • Allocating funds for creating more treatment facilities.
  • Ensure Medicaid covers outpatient treatment
  • Increasing the availability of Naloxone to ensure Hospitals and First Responders have access to sufficient quantities to fight the problem (especially as levels of Fentanyl continues to increase)
  • More Stringently enforcing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (which really can only be done @ the federal level)

 

While these efforts will help stem the problem and begin to repair the wreckage already wrought- on their own, they will not be enough.  The various branches of government must make it a priority to aggressively confront the catastrophe and take preventative measures. Many of these measure are directly tied to healthcare, and include:

 

  • The IMMEDIATE Repeal of the incredibly irresponsible “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act” passed in 2016.
  • Requiring medical schools to mandate training in musculoskeletal problems (1 in 5 health care visits are related to musculoskeletal problems and yet,  less than half of medical schools require musculoskeletal coursework and only 20% have mandatory musculoskeletal clerkship)
  • Make it easier for individuals to see a physical therapist (i.e. remove the need for a physician referral)
  • Education of individuals and families regarding rights and treatment options.
  • Legalizing Medical Marijuana- an effective natural alternative to highly addictive pain medicine.

 

Health Care

With a median age well above the natural average, Maine has the oldest population and is therefore, especially vulnerable to every change and/or vacillation in policy and procedure emerging from Washington. The economy is mostly labor based (Lobstering, Logging, Fishing, Manufacturing, Farming) and seasonal.  Most Mainers experience better healthcare with the Affordable Care Act {ACA} than they did before its existence, but it isn’t good enough.  To start with, it’s too expensive and complicated.   Maine's population is prone to work related injuries. Without adequate and affordable healthcare coverage, each day on the water, in the forest, the factory, or the field becomes a game of Russian roulette- the stakes being one’s life and livelihood.

  • Will proposes creating Legislation that makes those in Washington subject to the same Health Care that they pass for the citizens they represent.
  • People need to be educated to understand what options they already have at their disposal.
  • Expanded Telemedicine for rural communities
  • Planned Parenthood & Other Women’s health and family planning facilities should be welcomed and readily available.  (The closest women's’ health center doesn’t have an OB GYN from October-June).
  • Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies need to be more regulated
  • Drafting legislation to prohibit drug companies from advertising medications on television and magazines.
  • Cross-state insurance competition
  • Monitor Efficiency of Hospitals

 

Education

Every politician promises better education and better futures for our children; but funding for education is always one of the first areas cut in budgets.

Children really are our future.  They are our leaders, workers, protectors, caretakers and innovators.  Giving them anything less than the best education and preparation for life is not only irresponsible, but literally a disservice to our country.  The increasing chasm between those with means and opportunity and those without is growing in part because of the stark difference in standards and opportunity that come from private vs. public education.

 

Will Proposes:

  • Increasing and Standardizing the funding allotted for STEM and tech training.  The amount should be the same for all public schools nationwide, regardless of zip code.  There should  no penalty for children living in rural or less wealthy neighborhoods.  All children must have equal opportunity to learn to be proficient in tech, math and science.  
  • Every student should have access to a computer at school and be taught the fundamentals of coding.  Technology is a fundamental part of culture and our economy.  Everyone should be afforded the chance to take part in innovation.
  • Funding for STEM and Tech must NOT come at the expense of the Arts.  Regardless of socio-economic standing and geography, students must have access and exposure to multiple forms of self-expression and exploration. The Arts serve as an invaluable outlet for creativity, escape and self-expression.
  • Basic Life Skills should always be a part of the curriculum. 
  • Beginning their junior year, high school students should be allowed to choose vocational paths in education. The fact that college is not for everyone should be acknowledged, embraced, and celebrated. 
  • College needs to be affordable; everyone that wants to go to college should be able to afford college. 
  • Adult Education is something that should be readily available so as to aid in the development of professional aspirations and the changing of industries, should someone choose to take a different path later in life.  
  • "Leave no Student Behind" should apply to all students.  In the Federal Government’s attempt to ensure all students with special needs are cared for, the funds to ensure sufficient financial resources, staff, and programming for gifted students have been done away with; therefore, leaving schools unable to maximize their students' potential.
  • Teachers need to be paid more.  There is no way to ensure excellence in education if we are not willing to pay for the service provided.  
  • Schools and/or Districts need to begin to make licensed therapists/psychiatrists available for students.  Teachers need to be able to focus more on teaching.
  • Patriotism and Education: reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and knowing the basics of American History and Geography do not do enough to instill pride and personal responsibility, essential parts of being a responsible American citizen.  Service must be included in the curriculum.
  • Local and Global Citizenship: The importance of service and involvement within the local community needs to be stressed.  Global citizenship should also be a mandatory part of public school education.

 

Economy

The tax system does need an overhaul; it needs to be adjusted for the reality of the world we live in.  Will Hoar will work with both parties to come up with a realistic, revised, and simplified tax code.  Tax Brackets need to be adjusted to reflect the realities of the nation’s economy and wealth disparity.  Hard working families who strive tirelessly to achieve the American Dream shouldn’t be punished for achieving an economic status capable of providing a modicum of comfort and security.

 

Washington

The reason Will Hoar is running on an unaffiliated Independent ticket is because he sees it as the only way to honestly represent the people of Maine.  Both parties have bloated into ideological behemoths who choose to spend their time battling for dominance.  Party loyalty and attaining/maintaining the majority have come to take precedence over the very real problems facing constituents each and every day.  The gridlock of wills and unbendable egos is suffocating the democratic ideals upon which this country was built.  Our body politic was formed to be first-and-foremost a functional and accurate representation of the general populace.  Representatives are elected not to join some political governing class, but to be public servants.  Currently, most of the governing is being done by a group of individuals who are not serving the interests of the very people they were chosen to represent.  

  • There need to be term limits.  No one can honestly call themselves a resident of a given state when the majority of their lives are spent in Washington.  There are term limits for the presidency for a reason.  There should also be term limits for congressional and senate seats.  I believe two terms for Senate and five terms for Congress is appropriate.  Our government was formed with the intent of being led by a representative governing body.  We are currently being governed by a self-made class who have the means, at their disposal to write the rule book for their own benefit.  It should be remembered that being an elected official is an honor and a public service; not a lifetime guarantee. 
  • Overturning Citizens United.  Corporations are not Citizens.
  • Increased transparency and restrictions on campaign financing.
  • Legislation to limit the time allowed for campaigning.  The time spent campaigning and fundraising is time spent NOT serving the needs of constituents and ensuring the prosperity of a representative’s home state and the nation at large.
  • Take measures in Washington to create an atmosphere of civility that encourages coalition building and bipartisan bonds. With many representative commuting back to their home each weekend, and being so party-focused, there is not enough time or opportunity for elected officials to get to know one another...especially those people outside of their own party.  How can we expect people to work together respectfully and efficiently when they are strangers?  It is much easier to vilify the opposition when you have no personal connection with them.
  • Legitimize Alternative Parties.  The current two party structure goes against the capitalist culture upon which this country was built.  Competition is a healthy way of vetting and ensuring continued growth and relevance within a given sector.  We currently have a duopoly that serves the interests of the two political parties.  The American people are too diverse so as to be neatly spliced into two parties.  The party system should be representative of the country’s diversity.