Introduction to My Interview with Future Congressman Eric Brakey
If there is one thing we young conservatives need to learn to do, it’s to support up and coming politicians with talent and conservative values. While we might not have the financial resources necessary to support them through donations, we do have the time and energy to support them in other ways. My interview with former Maine State Senator and future U.S. Congressman Eric Brakey is my attempt to do that through this blog for conservatives of all ages. Hopefully, after reading this article on Eric Brakey, you see why you should support him for Congress!
As with my interview of one of the 2nd Amendment protesters in Virginia, this interview was carried out in the format of emailing his campaign questions and then publishing the answers. I hope you enjoy it and use it as an opportunity to support future Congressman Eric Brakey! -Gen Z Conservative
1. What will your top national policy objective be if elected and why?
“The ongoing [coronavirus] crisis has made it even clearer how broken our healthcare system is. In the best of times, the bureaucracy drives up the price of healthcare and dictates terms to our doctors. For many, that means healthcare is unaffordable and inaccessible. For others, that means healthcare is unaccountable as doctors and providers must work for the needs of the bureaucracy — not the needs of patients. Now, when we need a robust and responsive healthcare system more than ever, the bureaucracy has obstructed innovation and left us vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus.
We must fix our broken healthcare system. Sadly, Washington D.C. only hears proposals for more of the same — more socialism and more corporatism to empower the bureaucrats — when what we need is more personalization to empower patients and doctors. That’s why I’ve released my plan to Personalize Healthcare, which would make healthcare more affordable, accessible, and accountable by putting economic power back into the hands of regular people, cutting out the middlemen and restoring the direct doctor-patient relationship.
First, let’s personalize Medicaid. Instead of taking our tax dollars and passing them through the hands of controlling and expensive middlemen, we would deposit Medicaid funds directly into health savings accounts (HSAs) controlled by beneficiaries. With those HSA funds, people will be free to purchase their own health insurance and make direct payments for healthcare. Further, by making benefits scale with income and disability status, we will eliminate the all-or-nothing welfare cliff that restricts many from taking a better job or a raise at work.
Also, let’s personalize the private healthcare market by allowing all Americans to save tax-free in their own health savings accounts — giving everyone the same advantages as those who get health insurance tax-free through an employer. This will free people to purchase insurance that travels with them wherever they work and to customize that plan for their own needs.
For the first time in decades, Americans will be free to cut out the insurance middlemen from routine healthcare and contract directly (and more affordably) with our own doctors on our own terms. At the same time, affordable insurance plans that focus on coverage for unplanned, catastrophic events will become more available once we repeal “essential health benefit” requirements and allow people to shop for the plans they actually want.” -Eric Brakey
2. What do you, Eric Brakey, see as your district’s greatest challenge and what would you do to solve it?
“Our greatest challenge in Maine’s 2nd District at this moment is the economic devastation created by both the coronavirus and our Governor’s extreme response to it: shutting down all businesses arbitrarily deemed “non-essential,” without regard for whether these businesses could institute precautions to safely operate.
As unemployment rates hit highs not seen since the Great Depression, we have to get Maine people back to work safely and quickly. To accomplish this, we should allow businesses to open on the condition that they accept liability for any provable cases of serious illness that result from a lack of effective precautions. This will incentivize business owners to institute policies that mitigate the risk of infection, whether than be mandating extra hygiene precautions, mask use or even temperature taking at business entrances. Business owners are better equipped than government bureaucrats to decide what policies make sense for their business models.
Allowing businesses to re-open will slow the bleeding (and that is an important first step), but we need to restore Maine’s economy to full health, including for those areas of Maine that haven’t seen a strong economy in decades.
On the federal level, we should pass the REINS Act to end “regulation without representation” and stop unelected federal bureaucracies from harassing our local Maine industries. Right now, NOAH is threatening our Maine lobstermen, demanding they cut the number of lobster lines off the coast of Maine in half. No Maine person ever had a say in this, including our elected representatives. That’s why the REINS Act would require a vote of Congress to approve any new federal regulation that would cost our economy more than $100 million dollars, restoring our representative system of law-making.
We should also seize the opportunity created by Brexit to negotiate a new trade deal with the U.K. that opens new markets for Maine industries. With the repeal of a few excessive regulations that were imposed on Britain by the European Union, many Maine forestry products could state shipping out of Washington County for sale on the other side of the ocean, bringing opportunity home to Maine for loggers and merchant marines.
Further, we should designate economic freedom zones in some of the most economically depressed areas across the nation, including certain areas of Maine in Washington and Aroostook counties. These economic freedom zones would incentivize private investment by greatly reducing the burdens of federal taxation and regulation on those who create jobs and opportunities there.” -Eric Brakey
3. What drew you to conservatism?
“I am a conservative because I believe the original promise of the American republic — a government which exists to protect the life, liberty and property of the American people — is worth fighting to conserve.
Over the course of my life, I have watched the bipartisan Washington establishment erode our Constitution with bank bailouts, endless wars, and the shredding of our Bill of Rights here. For those of us who value American freedom and can see what is happening to our county, I believe we have an obligation to stand up and defend our Constitution. That’s why I am running for Congress.” -Eric Brakey
3. How would you fight against socialism in America? I saw that is a key point on your campaign website.
“Socialism is a bad solution for many of the very real problems many Americans are facing. From crushing healthcare costs to indentured servitude under mountains of student loan debt, the American people are struggling with many problems that have been fueled by big corporate-government policies in Washington.
The only way to defeat socialism in America is to develop real solutions, based in freedom, that will better solve the problems Americans are facing. That is why I am especially focused on my plan to Personalize Healthcare, to fix our healthcare system with more freedom, not more government.” -Eric Brakey
4. What policy positions, if any, separate you from other Republicans?
“During my time in the Maine Senate, I was ranked the most conservative and one of the most independent. When many other Republican legislators took their marching orders from party leadership to support corporate welfare, government spying, and nanny-state policies, I was always the one standing up and objecting.
I believe we have the right to live free. We have the right to live our lives as we choose, so long as we don’t harm others. We also have the right to keep the fruits of our labor, and that we should minimize government spending to only the core functions authorized by our Constitution.
If I differ from other Republicans in my policy positions, it is because I work to consistently apply republican principles of individual liberty to every policy decision I make.” -Eric Brakey
5. What can patriots not living in Maine do to support you, Eric Brakey?
“Those not living in Maine who would like to support Eric Brakey’s campaign for a Free Maine and a Free America can chip in financially at EricBrakey.com/donate or volunteer with our “Phone from Home” Program at EricBrakey.com/phone” – Eric Brakey