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Cantwell V. Hutchison

  • Written by David B. Clark
On November 6, voters in Washington will elect one member to the U.S. Senate during the election. The incumbent senator, Maria Cantwell (D-), has held the Senate seat for 18 years. During the Primary election in August, Cantwell was up against 28 challengers when she received 929, 933 votes; a tremendous majority setting her at 54.7% of the voter totals. Washington utilizes a top-two primary system, which allows all candidates to run and all voters to vote but only moves the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the general election. Susan Hutchison (R-) gathered 24.3% of the vote to ensure that she will face Cantwell in the General election.
 
While Hutchison urges that voters desire a change after nearly two decades, Cantwell stresses her successes as to why she deserves your vote. Understanding where the two stand on frequently controversial issues can better help you cast your vote on November 6.
Second Amendment and Gun Control
 
Hutchison’s husband was an expert marksman while serving in the Marine Corps. “Our two sons have taken the gun safety course and gone bird hunting with their dad. Our family follows strict gun safety in the storage of firearms and their use.  I’m not a marksman, but I stand by the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. While Americans are united in their outrage and frustration with mass shootings perpetrated by disturbed young men, in many cases authorities have been warned of the threats but didn’t bother to act,” said Hutchison. If elected, Hutchison says that she will find a way to solve gun violence that would not penalize millions of law-abiding gun owners. “We must more competently enforce our existing laws, keeping weapons from the dangerous and mentally ill and have the courage to tackle the mental health crisis that leads to these unthinkable acts.”
 
Cantwell believes that the state of Washington has done a good job with limiting the ability to procure a firearm for those who are mentally ill. She was against bump stocks and also for raising the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21. “Whoever is on the no-fly list should not be able to own a gun,” said Cantwell.
 
Opioid Crisis
 
Hutchison is not pleased with the state of the opioid epidemic in some of the more major cities in Washington. “Nowhere is the opioid drug crisis more pitiful than in Seattle where countless addicts live on the streets or in tents causing harm to themselves and others as filth, crime and civic decay increase.” She believes that much of the problem, specifically in Seattle, is the local government. She thinks that the local government is enabling opioid addicts rather than taking steps to solve the crisis and provide safety for the general public. Hutchison said she would, “…strengthen the federal role in this national crisis — tightening prescription rules, prosecuting illegal drug trafficking across borders, treating rather than enabling addiction, promoting recovery programs and re-evaluating Medicaid distribution of opioids,” if elected.
 
Senator Cantwell’s Comprehensive Addiction Reform, Education, and Safety (CARES) Act, was introduced in February with Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California. It was widely supported by a bipartisan group. She also is for increased penalties on opioid manufacturers who fail to take the proper steps to prevent their drugs from entering the black market. Cantwell stated, “We need to do something now to make sure that opioid manufacturers follow the laws that are already on the books,” Senator Cantwell continued. The legislation took a major step forward by including penalties for negligent opioid distribution strong enough to serve as a deterrent to those particular manufacturers.
 
Healthcare
 
Hutchison grew up on socialized medicine.  She was first a military daughter and then later a military wife. “I know government health care and I don’t recommend it,” stated Hutchison.  She thought the system was largely slow and uncaring.  She referenced the issues from waiting to receive care from the medical professionals to the impossibility of maintaining a particular doctor. “This “single payer” or “universal” health care is what Cantwell advocates for all. The Democrats who passed Obamacare knew it was set up to fail—in hopes the country could default to socialized medicine,” finished Hutchison.
 
Hutchison says that if elected then she will find market-based solutions to Obamacare’s confusing and costly premiums. This way she believes she will be putting patients and families in control of their own healthcare.  She stated the government-controlled medical system would fall into “inevitable mediocrity.” Hutchison is also passionate about supporting veterans by getting them the best healthcare possible.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, Cantwell has worked to ensure that the people of Washington have access to healthcare that is both cost-friendly and of high quality. She has focused on rewarding providers for quality outcomes, rather than the quantity of services delivered – essentially making sure that patients are receiving better care when they do have a medical issue instead of what could be referenced as a revolving door. Maria has also worked to increase access to care for rural and underserved areas in Washington, as well as improve access to care for Medicare enrollees.
 
“Access to healthcare through the Medicaid expansion was big in rural communities [in Washington state] …600,000 people in our state got expanded coverage,” Cantwell said. In particular she referenced the counties of Chelan and Douglas. Cantwell claimed that the uninsured rate in the area had dropped by 60%.
 
Cantwell has also been a major backer of telemedicine and its effectiveness. Telemedicine connects doctors and other healthcare professionals around the state to people in areas that are underserved or located in geographically difficult to reach places. This allows them to provide consultations remotely.
 
On Monday, October 8 Hutchison and Cantwell debated in Tacoma, Washington which was broadcast by KIRO7. Both of their opening statements that evening seemed to sum up their hopes for your vote.
 
Cantwell said, “The last thing we need right now in Washington is the rubberstamp of the Trump agenda. I’m going to fight for our economy for everyone, improving our healthcare, protecting our public lands, and changing our environment to being a cleaner energy economy.”
Hutchison said, “I’m fighting for my boys’ future but I’m fighting for your future, too, and for your kids and for your grandkids. Some of you remember me from the old days of the news. I want you to know you trusted me then and you can trust me now.”
 
We at The Woodinville Weekly urge you to research all of the candidates on the ballet this November 6 and to vote.

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