Whether the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare later this month or not, quality health care will always be a major concern in America, former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
“Healthcare will still be an issue in the future,” Allen told Newsmax on Thursday. “Hopefully, [Obamacare] gets struck down as unconstitutional because the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
“It’s an overreach by the government,” Allen told Newsmax. “I also don’t the like the way the federal government in Obamacare is commandeering the states and expanding the Medicaid roles, which will cause – obviously – a lot of budgetary harm in the states. Medicaid ought to be run by the states – and give the states greater flexibility to run it.”
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Allen served as the Republican governor in Virginia from 1994 to 1998 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. He lost his re-election bid in 2006 to Democrat Jim Webb, but Webb is not running for re-election this year and Allen is seeking the GOP nomination for his seat. He is leading three other Republican hopefuls, who will face off in a June 12 primary. The winner is expected to face Democratic former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine in November.
While reiterating his longstanding campaign position of wanting to cast the deciding vote to kill Obamacare — a program lauded by Kaine — Allen said: “We need to reform or replace the healthcare system. One of the things that is a really great idea are health savings accounts, where individuals own their own policies and can take them from job to job and not have to worry about pre-existing conditions because a new employer or new insurance won’t cover you or someone in your family that may have some malady or illness.
“Small businesses ought to be able to pool together across state lines to get more affordable insurance,” he added.
“As far as Medicaid is concerned, like what we did when I was governor with welfare reform two years before the federal government passed it, the states ought to take the lead in managing Medicaid. The states would do it much more efficiently, more effectively and save the taxpayers a great deal of money in the meantime.
“Those are the sort of reforms that are needed in the future once Obamacare is repealed, either by the courts or by the legislative bodies. But again, to make those reforms in the future, we’re going to need to have a majority in the United States Senate to work as partners with the House of Representatives – and, hopefully, we have a President Romney as well that will sign these good ideas to improve personal and accessible healthcare into law.
“Philosophically, there’s a big difference between those of us who are common-sense conservatives and the Washington liberals,” Allen said. “They think they ought to dictate and mandate to us. They’ve gone so far as to even telling religious organizations that they need to provide services that are contrary to their deeply held beliefs. I feel strongly about religious liberty, and we ought to empower doctors and individuals to make health care decisions, rather than having government bureaucracies ration it.
“So our view is more empowering, more personal, more affordable and results and much better quality care than having the government determine who gets and who doesn’t get care and taking, as Obamacare does, over $500 billion out Medicare.”
Surveys show Allen far ahead of his three Republican challengers — Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson, Del. Robert Marshall (Prince William), and former Virginia Tea Party Patriots head Jamie Radtke — heading into next week’s primary.
“People know me and they know my wife, Susan,” he said. “We know Virginia, having served Virginians in the Senate and as governor, and that helps. You don’t make friends just in the midst of a campaign. It does help to know people in the communities throughout Virginia.
“I’m the only candidate with a proven record of getting results, as governor as well as a U.S. senator, on everything from reducing taxes to freezing college tuition to welfare reform to keeping taxes off Internet access, the education opportunity tax breaks for families to be able to get computers for their children. There’s a variety of things that people know me [for] – and I know Virginia and that helps.
“We’re taking nothing for granted, notwithstanding those polls,” Allen said. “You take nothing for granted. June 12th is an important day. The message we want to send is a message to Washington, across the Potomac, that we in Virginia want to take control of our own destiny.
“We envision a better a future than what we’re having to endure these days. Whether it is allowing us in Virginia to produce oil and natural gas off our coast and use the royalties for roads and transportation, as I proposed, or stopping EPA from banning coal for generating electricity in our country.
“There are a lot of things that are concerning people, but the one thing that everyone does know is that what Washington is doing is contrary to the values and views of Virginians and so the bigger the turnout the bigger the victory on June 12th , the stronger the message we’re sending to President Obama, Tim Kaine and their Washington liberal allies.”
Allen is particularly concerned about creating jobs for the nation’s young people. The issue is particularly acute for the former governor: “My daughter, Tyler, who’s going to soon be turning 24, is one who graduated from college and, like many of others, graduated . . . and moved back home. The unemployment rate and underemployment rate are too high, and too many young people are not being able to pursue their dreams.
“We need to reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit of our country,” Allen said. “It’s very clear what needs to be done. We need a tax code that is more fair, simple and competitive. If we reduce the taxes, as I’ve proposed on job-creating businesses, to 20 percent, which is better than the international average of 25 percent — right now, the taxes are the worst in the world at 35 percent — if we reduced it to 20 percent, independent analysis show that over 500, 000 new jobs would be created every year. That’s five million new jobs over a 10-year period.
“That would send a message to the world that America is open for business again. That’s a way of creating jobs.
“Another is unleashing our American energy resources. We’re blessed with the most energy resources of any country in the world. The federal government, unfortunately, puts them off limits. If we unleash our American energy resources, there’d be hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs created in our country, besides having more affordable fuel and food and electricity, we’d get more investment into the United States because we’d be more competitive and we’d be keeping our money here in the United States of America, not being vulnerable to hostile outside forces.
“Just in those two areas alone, that would create so many more jobs, greater prosperity and more investment for young people and middle-aged people throughout our country who, right now, may have a job but is not fully utilizing their skills and their talent and their education.
“We need to make sure America really is that land of opportunity for all and this election is as much for young people in college or soon graduating from college as anyone else because all of us, as parents, want to make sure that future generations have the same opportunities to achieve their dreams as we had growing up.”
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