Reduce the Cost of Health Insurance -- As a small businessman, I understand how difficult it is to provide employees with quality health insurance. Without government mandates or creating a Hillary-Care style system, our state must give our citizens access to quality, affordable health insurance through a market-based system. Legislation was passed this year that lets small businesses establish cooperatives to negotiate premiums. This is a start but more must be done to improve access to affordable health insurance. I will work hard for free market initiatives that expand health insurance coverage and that reduce the costs for working families.
Encourage Long Term Care Planning and Saving -- The issue of long term health care for baby boomers as they enter their retirement years will be an increasing challenge for our state. We must encourage families and individuals to take responsibility for their own long term care by receiving state tax credits for purchasing long term care insurance. We must also search for state and federal funds to assist the elderly and disabled with obtaining more home-based and community-based nursing care. I will support laws that encourage planning for long term care.
Meet the Needs of our Seniors -- The fastest growing segment of our population in Aiken County is our senior citizens. Our state must prepare to meet their needs. I will support efforts to address the shortage of nurses, to toughen penalties for those who attempt to take advantage of vulnerable adults, and to improve access to and cost of prescription drugs.