Dr Christopher Peterson’s political prescription for Iowa

During a stop through Sigourney last week, Dr. Christopher Peters shared his perspective on the current “broken politics” and his prescription for the cure. Along with pragmatic problem solving, the political bedside manner of Peters includes a bit of humor.

            “George Washington is one of my favorite leaders in history, because he could have been King but he refused it. He served his two terms and retired to Mt. Vernon. Well, since Dave Loebsack used to live in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, I think he should retire and move to Mt Vernon too.”

            He was joking of course, but the sentiment behind the joke is true. According to Peters, Loebsack has lost his effectiveness in Congress and Peters would like the chance to take his leadership skills and pragmatic thinking to Washington D.C.

            Peters believes “we the People” have lost faith in or elected officials, which explains the desire by some, for term limits.

            “There is a deep suspicion that elected officials are in the pocket of someone else, serving special interest groups…removed from the people they are supposed to be representing.”

            His prescription for this is “transparency.” Being accountable to the represented and for the things voted for. If elected, Peters plans to have town meetings in each county to be available to citizens in his area as a way of being transparent.

            The organization “With Honor” chose to endorse Dr. Peters. The criteria for this bi-partisan endorsement is that the candidate must be a veteran, and all candidates were interviewed in Washington D.C. “With Honor” believes that the oath a soldier takes to defend the constitution means something to them at a deeper level, so when they take the oath again while being sworn into office, it will resonate more. The number one question they ask to make their decision, ‘Are they going to serve with honor?’ According to Peters, with honesty and transparency, he will.

            As a surgeon, Peters said he has natural pragmatic approach to problem solving, and feels that this concept can easily be transferred to government.

            “Number one, always keep the patient in mind first, in this case, the county, constituents, and the constitution. Number two, diagnose the problem. Number three, evaluate the possible solutions. The best answer is not red or blue, its based on the actual problem,” Peters said.

            Being a physician, Peters has an inside view of the healthcare problem. He also has a very pragmatic plan or dealing with the issue.

            “Congress is focused too much on coverage. How can we cover more people, rather than how do address the prices? I believe the solution there is to have greater transparency in pricing. And there’s no reason hospitals, pharmacies, doctor’s offices can’t do that. We do in our surgical clinic. My wife Julie, who has her Masters in Health Administration runs it, and we list all the prices up front,” said Peters.

            Peters also thinks more competition in the healthcare industry would “drive down prices, stimulate innovative and better quality care.” He also mentioned that something needs to be done about the “pharmacy benefit managers” who keep the price of prescriptions high by pocketing large sums of money, unfairly.”

            One of the biggest issues for Peters is restoring the balance of power in government and giving states the local power they need, while limiting the federal government to only those things that are constitutional. Peters said its important for states to have to the power to “capitalize on local knowledge,” so that their citizens are fairly represented. As far as the issue of medical and recreational cannabis, Peters said that he is happy to see it handled on a “state-by-state level” because not all states are ready to go that direction.

            “It’s better than a federal mandate. I don’t personally use it, so I don’t rally care too much about that issue. But, I don’t want people incarcerated and I do think there is some medicinal value to cannabis.”

            Another philosophy related to this is Peters wish for the end of the ‘War on Drugs,’

            “Cartels and criminal gangs have made countries like Honduras very dangerous and its no surprise that people want to get out of there and find a place that’s more secure or safe, where they have a chance to have a future. Stopping our drug war in other counties and helping them rebuild and to prosper economically, then we’d see less of an immigration problem.” said Peters.

 

For the rest of this story, check out the October 31st issue of the Keota Eagle.