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Jim Oberweis: Nation needs economic, healthcare and security reforms to recover from the COVID-19 crisis

April 14, 2020
For Immediate Release

Sugar Grove, IL – The government shutdown of the American economy is taking its toll on millions of Americans and in order to recover, Jim Oberweis says the country needs significant economic, healthcare and security reforms to take on future challenges.

“We need to be looking at not only how to beat the current COVID-19 crisis, but also what we need to do as a nation to get prepared for the next crisis,” Oberweis said. “Having a strong economy, access to affordable healthcare and secure borders will help our country be ready for the next crisis. What we do coming out of this pandemic will have an impact on our country for a long time to come.”

Oberweis said it is important to have sound economic principles guiding the reopening of the economy. He said it is imperative for the country to bring manufacturing back to the United States – especially the manufacturing of medical equipment and prescription drugs.

Some specific economic proposals are:

· Create a public/private partnership between manufacturers and community colleges (grants etc.) to teach pharmaceutical manufacturing and begin moving pharmaceutical production back to the United States
· Reduce regulatory hurdles to encourage investment in start-up companies and more domestic manufacturing
· Make the Trump tax cuts permanent

“One of the things this pandemic has taught us is the need to have access to things like surgical masks and prescription medication that are produced here in the United States,” Oberweis said. “Lowering taxes, reducing regulatory burdens on the private sector and forging public/private partnerships are all ways we can bring the healthcare manufacturing sector back to the US.”

Oberweis also said the economic challenges of the COVID-19 response has shown the need for real reforms in healthcare. Some specific healthcare reforms include:

· Reforming the FDA
· Reducing the efficacy requirement for drug trials in emergency situations (Maintaining the safety requirement only)
· Expanding the “Right to Try” program the President has initiated
· Opening up more virtual doctor visits for patients as a means of lowering costs
· Expanding healthcare savings accounts
· Allowing for reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada as a means of lowering prices
· Tying healthcare benefits to workers rather than to the company they work for and allowing portability of healthcare plans across state lines

“If there is one thing this crisis has taught us is the need for access to affordable quality healthcare,” Oberweis said. “There are some common-sense solutions we can implement to reform healthcare. We just need the political will to get it done. If a global pandemic is not enough to get serious about healthcare reform, what else needs to happen before we get serious about this?”

Finally, Oberweis said we need to focus on making our country secure. Oberweis said some steps the nation needs to take to ensure the safety of Americans are:

· Increase funding for border security to make sure we are not vulnerable to infectious disease exposure
· Investigate the World Health Organization and their role in covering for China
· Create a national clearinghouse (database) run by the federal government where states update their COVID-19 numbers, outline the policies they have put in place, and note the results
· Replenish supply of ventilators and other medical equipment to prepare for future emergencies
· Develop protocols for travel restrictions and other measures to protect Americans from future healthcare emergencies that may develop in other countries

“We need to look at ways we can ensure the safety of American citizens moving forward,” Oberweis said. “The protection of American citizens is the primary responsibility of government. We need to not only think about getting through this crisis, but we also need to think about what is needed to prepare for the next one.”

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