By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian
---- — Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, candidate for congressional Iowa District 2, promised the 10 who came to The Garage in Centerville Wednesday she would do “the full Grassley” if elected.
“The full Grassley,” Miller-Meeks said, is what Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley does — he visits every Iowa county every year — but she has a smaller scale — visit every county in District 2 every year to talk to constituents and answer questions and concerns. District 2 covers 24 counties in southeast and eastern Iowa.
Miller-Meeks made that comment and others during her campaign stop Wednesday morning in Centerville, the third campaign stop of the day, with one to follow in Corydon.
Miller-Meeks’ campaign themes centered on the lack of leadership and accountability, Washington is not listening or looking out for the little guy, the Affordable Care Act and take home pay.
“I’m the little guy and I’m standing up,” Miller-Meeks said. “And the things that people are concerned about right now today are health care, take home pay and a government that works for all of us and is accountable.”
Miller-Meeks first addressed health care reform and how health care was deemed not affordable and was costing too much. She agreed health care was costing too much but the plan presented by Obama “that instead of putting you in charge of your health care was a one size fits all government plan that’s telling you what you should have and what you should value. Health care, medical insurance needs to be affordable, it needs to be portable, personal. It needs to preserve the doctor, patient relationship and it needs to be patient-centered. You need to be in charge of your medical insurance.”
Miller-Meeks said the ACA is all about winners and losers. She cited several individuals who she said will be penalized because they lost their health care insurance because of the ACA.
On take home pay, she said the prices of some items — like gas and food — have increased and wages are not keeping up with inflation. An increase in take home pay is not because small business owners don’t want to pay more but because of uncertainty caused by the ACA.
“The health care law is the thing that holds people back, it holds businesses back,” Miller-Meeks said. “We know that we can increase take home pay with good economic policies. The governor has done that in our state.”
Miller-Meeks talked about governmental safety nets and how they tend to trap those they are supposed to help. She suggested safety nets should be more like trampolines.
“Nets are full of holes and people fall into those holes and they never get out,” Miller-Meeks said. “We need to transform safety nets into trampolines so you never hit bottom but you’re boosted upward so you can fulfill whatever potential you have.”
Miller-Meeks said a government that provides a safety net with taxpayer money needs to be held accountable.
Miller-Meeks said she was amazed by the “Main Stream Press” and how for at least the past five years they have failed to call the Obama administration to task for a long list of alleged transgressions. She pointed to Fast and Furious allegedly backed by the U.S. Justice Department dealing with gun running, IRS targeting of conservative non-profits, NSA collecting data on Americans after saying they were not, the FCC idea to monitor all American newsrooms and Benghazi, where Americans died.
“And as a veteran, let me tell you, the fact that our nation, the most powerful nation on Earth, would leave people on a rooftop in Benghazi and not go to their aid is a travesty,” Miller-Meeks said, which was immediately followed by claps of appreciation by the audience. “That is a travesty.”
Miller-Meeks is one of three Republicans on the primary ballot. The winner of the primary in June will campaign against Loebsack heading into the mid-term election in November.
Miller-Meeks, campaign stop in Centerville lasted 45 minutes.
Miller-Meeks, an ophthalmologist who resides in Ottumwa, ran for this congressional seat against Loebsack in 2010. She resigned her position as director of the Iowa Department of Public Health in January of 2014 to make a run for the United States House of Representatives.
Miller-Meeks served 24 years in the U.S. Army as a nurse and a physician. She is married and has two adult children.