Gubernatorial candidate Makes Stops in the Valley

© 2018-Monte Vista Journal

 

MONTE VISTA— Republican Candidate for Governor Doug Robinson made a stop in Monte Vista Friday morning for an interview following his appearance at the Lincoln Dinner in South Fork Thursday night and two meet-and-greet stops in Alamosa. Robinson discussed some of the points that make him a uniquely qualified candidate to lead the state.

Robinson stated this was his third trip to the San Luis Valley and after spending some time growing up in Fruita, he understands the importance of reaching the whole state. The same issues have come up nearly everywhere in rural Colorado, Robinson indicated, including economic opportunity and growth, the cost of healthcare, the drug crisis, immigration concerns, Second Amendment Rights and water rights. Robinson stated he is a businessman and a political outsider, which gives him a unique vantage point to analyze and find solutions to these issues.

In addressing economic growth, Robinson stated if elected he will focus on “prioritizing and investing in infrastructure” including roads, water and broadband and making sure schools and businesses work together to prepare kids for the future. Robinson started a non-profit, Kidstek, to ensure students, especially in disadvantaged communities, are getting real-world technology skills that will help them find employment. “We have made a mistake by adopting the college-for-everyone mantra,” Robinson said, “We need a renewed focus on vocational training in schools.”

Robinson stated healthcare costs are too much and that fact is breaking the budgets of individuals, businesses, cities, counties and the state. “Colorado spends 26 percent of state resources on healthcare,” Robinson said, adding this crowds out other priorities. He believes the solution is to increase competition in the marketplace, especially in rural areas which often only have one insurance provider, implement price disclosure polities for medical procedures and adapt more innovate methods of care at lower costs. Robinson gave the example of Peakmed, a practice in Colorado Springs that charges a monthly membership fee of $89 (for seniors) and provides primary care, mental health care and pharmacy services for this membership fee. Members also have high-deductable catastrophic insurance plans for emergencies or specialty care.  “With the right leadership we can take these models throughout Colorado,” Robinson stated.

Robinson indicated when he sees issues, he steps up to remedy them, like the non-profit Smart Colorado, which he started to advocate for better regulation of marijuana. Smart Colorado was the driving force behind 12 pieces of legislation requiring marijuana and edibles to be labeled appropriately and with serving sizes. Smart Colorado also put 150 mental health professionals in schools and created a databank of marijuana information for parents and teachers to use. Robinson indicated he isn’t anti-legalization but looks for ways to prevent the negative impacts of policies and make them work for all of Colorado.

To improve agriculture, Robinson wants to look at the regulatory burden on farmers and ranchers and lift unnecessary regulations “to let them do what they do best” and help them be more productive. He wants to explore options for long-term water storage.

On immigration, Robinson stated he is not for “rounding up all illegal immigrants” but noted the state “has a sanctuary city problem in Denver and Boulder,” and as governor, Robinson would work with the federal government to enforce laws when immigrants have committed crimes. “We need a solution for DACA,” Robinson said, before stating he has met some of the Dreamers through KidsTek and praised their abilities and potential as “exactly the type of kids we want to live and work in Colorado.”

Addressing the opioid crisis, Robinson stated he wants to limit the amount and size of prescriptions for opioids and better educate doctors and healthcare professionals about alternative pain management methods. Additionally, Robinson believes in putting more resources into substance abuse treatment and mental healthcare and expanding prevention programs, indicating he understands how hard rural communities have been hit by the crisis.

Robinson stated this was his third trip to the San Luis Valley and after spending some time growing up in Fruita, he understands the importance of reaching the whole state. The same issues have come up nearly everywhere in rural Colorado, Robinson indicated, including economic opportunity and growth, the cost of healthcare, the drug crisis, immigration concerns, Second Amendment Rights and water rights. Robinson stated he is a businessman and a political outsider, which gives him a unique vantage point to analyze and find solutions to these issues.

In addressing economic growth, Robinson stated if elected he will focus on “prioritizing and investing in infrastructure” including roads, water and broadband and making sure schools and businesses work together to prepare kids for the future. Robinson started a non-profit, Kidstek, to ensure students, especially in disadvantaged communities, are getting real-world technology skills that will help them find employment. “We have made a mistake by adopting the college-for-everyone mantra,” Robinson said, “We need a renewed focus on vocational training in schools.”

Robinson stated healthcare costs are too much and that fact is breaking the budgets of individuals, businesses, cities, counties and the state. “Colorado spends 26 percent of state resources on healthcare,” Robinson said, adding this crowds out other priorities. He believes the solution is to increase competition in the marketplace, especially in rural areas which often only have one insurance provider, implement price disclosure polities for medical procedures and adapt more innovate methods of care at lower costs. Robinson gave the example of Peakmed, a practice in Colorado Springs that charges a monthly membership fee of $89 (for seniors) and provides primary care, mental health care and pharmacy services for this membership fee. Members also have high-deductable catastrophic insurance plans for emergencies or specialty care.  “With the right leadership we can take these models throughout Colorado,” Robinson stated.

Robinson indicated when he sees issues, he steps up to remedy them, like the non-profit Smart Colorado, which he started to advocate for better regulation of marijuana. Smart Colorado was the driving force behind 12 pieces of legislation requiring marijuana and edibles to be labeled appropriately and with serving sizes. Smart Colorado also put 150 mental health professionals in schools and created a databank of marijuana information for parents and teachers to use. Robinson indicated he isn’t anti-legalization but looks for ways to prevent the negative impacts of policies and make them work for all of Colorado.

To improve agriculture, Robinson wants to look at the regulatory burden on farmers and ranchers and lift unnecessary regulations “to let them do what they do best” and help them be more productive. He wants to explore options for long-term water storage.

On immigration, Robinson stated he is not for “rounding up all illegal immigrants” but noted the state “has a sanctuary city problem in Denver and Boulder,” and as governor, Robinson would work with the federal government to enforce laws when immigrants have committed crimes. “We need a solution for DACA,” Robinson said, before stating he has met some of the Dreamers through KidsTek and praised their abilities and potential as “exactly the type of kids we want to live and work in Colorado.”

Addressing the opioid crisis, Robinson stated he wants to limit the amount and size of prescriptions for opioids and better educate doctors and healthcare professionals about alternative pain management methods. Additionally, Robinson believes in putting more resources into substance abuse treatment and mental healthcare and expanding prevention programs, indicating he understands how hard rural communities have been hit by the crisis.


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