Investing in our children is paving a path for our future. Sadly, more than half of West Virginia's children live in homes with low-income. This poverty is the stumbling block to our success, as it diminishes the quality of education our children receive. If we do not address this problem, we cannot revamp the educational system. The linked relationship between education and poverty is strong. We must be realistic with our approach and plan. By investing in human capital, we tackle poverty. This in turn enhances education and opens the bridge to opportunity. Boosting our economy will revamp our education system. I will fight to find solutions to help students and teachers both in public and private schools, supporting school of choice.
All Americans deserve patient autonomy, and access to affordable, quality health care. We need transparency in health insurance, allowing for competition between companies. I strongly support Medicare and Medicaid. I support association plans that allow smaller companies, freelancers, and self-employed the same health insurance savings associated with large group policies. We must lower the prescription drug cost. Big Pharma continues to pad corporate profits, rewarding stockholders while allowing Americans to suffer the cost of prescription drugs. It's time to stop corporate greed and take care of the people. While making medical treatment cost-efficient, we must ensure medical innovation continues, including clinical trials and research to improve quality of life.
Opioid-prescribing practices have significant geographical variations. In West Virginia, opioids are prescribed 2.5 to 5 times more than the national average. Pharmaceutical companies have put their financial incentives before the health of Americans. Along with flooding our state with opioids, physical and emotional abuse, depression, trauma, social pressures, and poverty all play roles in drug abuse. By neglecting these conditions, drug companies and the over-prescribing practices, we are not addressing the root causes of this massive issue. We can no longer ignore the opioid epidemic. I strongly support clinical trials to find better and more optimal treatments to treat opioid addiction. I support funding for inpatient detox centers, followed by counseling and home-monitored treatment programs. I want to implement an addict-to-freedom program, offering higher education grants and career opportunities for surviving addicts. No-one should be a prisoner to addiction.
A veterans selfless career comes with honor and sacrifice. The greatest thing America can do for its military is to not only take care of the veterans, but also increase public awareness of the transitional issues, emphasizing the importance of understanding and appreciating the sacrifice made to protect and give us freedom. No person who has worn the uniform to protect and defend our home should be deprived a home, without food, healthcare, medication, mental health support, and respect. The system for meeting the fundamental needs of veterans is broken. I will fight to honor and support those who gave me my freedom.
Without the jobs that the coal, gas, and oil industry produces, many West Virginian families would not be able to survive. I want West Virginia, and America to have a thriving economy, which is why we must be energy independent. We cannot strip the economy by eliminating fossil fuels. I will fight to build a better economy for the families of West Virginia.
I strongly support the Second Amendment and the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Guns are not the root cause of the evil acts of murder or mass shootings.
Women have a right to decide what to do with their bodies. However, women do not have the right to abort-on-demand taking the place of birth control. In unfortunate incidents of sexual crimes, the victim should seek medical attention to address physical injuries, and preventive services. I'm Pro-Life, an advocate for the unborn. I'm against elective abortion-on-demand. I strongly support sexual education, and birth control, regardless of one's insurance, financial situation, and physician of choice.
CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING
The average age a victim enters trafficking is 11 to 14 years old. Traffickers target children as they are deemed easier to manipulate than adults and are engaged in social media. More money can be made selling young girls and boys during their early stages of sexual development. Child victims are physically and sexually abused; they have long-term medical and psychological problems as a result. Sex trafficking is so widespread that no country, race, religion, or class are immune. While we do not know an exact number, it is estimated that 1.2 million children are being trafficked each year. I empathize with the abused child. I have deep compassion and empathy for children and want the best for their futures. We cannot continue to push abuse to the side. We must invest more money and time to stop child trafficking and abuse. Our children’s safety is worth all of the money and resources in the world. I strongly support funding to stop abusers and traffickers, as well as rehabilitation centers for victims of sex trafficking and child abuse. I will fight for longer prison sentences for those that hurt children.
BORDER SECURITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
We must secure our border. We must protect our country from illegal immigrants, movement of drugs, weapons, contraband, and sex trafficking. We must have law enforcement to maintain public order and safety. I fully support border security and law enforcement.
Paid for by Belinda Fox-Spencer for U.S. Congress