Issues

Jersey Proud: Focusing on Issues that Matter Most to New Jersey

Healthcare Reform starts with the heart of our healthcare delivery system – our nurses and doctors serving our patients. Yet, close to 50% percent of U.S. doctors exhibit at least one symptom of burnout where doctors are feeling detached from the practice of medicine. Dr. Mehta is championing efforts to fix doctor burnout by eliminating excessive regulatory mandates and administrative burdens, such as redundant credentialing, that creates over $17 billion dollars in waste. Despite the flowery rhetoric surrounding Obamacare, millions of Americans have lost their private coverage. Dr. Mehta’s plan will reverse damaging policies like taxing insurance premiums, which adds 3% to the total cost of coverage and cutting back the massive expansion of Medicaid.

Dr. Mehta has built a career cracking down on irresponsible pharmaceutical companies and holding them accountable to federal laws. But that’s not enough – we also need to focus on getting new and innovative therapies onto pharmacy shelves to treat unmet medical needs. Currently, overpriced prescription drugs are burdening New Jersey families who are trying to make ends meet. Specifically, Rik will fight to:

Increase Drug Price Transparency

Rik supports an increase in transparency into pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices and manufacturer drug pricing decisions so our pharmacies can fairly complete and lower their prices immediately.

Cut Down FDA Approval Time

Right now, it takes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 12 months to review and approve a new drug and 6 months for a generic drug. That’s too long. It wastes billions of dollars and raises the price of drugs. That’s why Dr. Mehta will work with the FDA to introduce new laws that strengthen the FDA medical team and cut down on process waste so we can bring safe, effective and quality drugs to patients faster and cheaper.

Bring Healthcare Innovation back to the United States

More than 80% of our generic drugs come from China accounting for more than $17 billion dollars. Many of these generic drugs are also contaminated, which leads to drug shortages and other major public health concerns. In fact, there are no antibiotic tablets manufactured in the United States anymore. That’s why Dr. Mehta is proposing a 5-year incentive program for companies who bring drug manufacturing back to the U.S. that will have a net effect of lowering the price of drugs and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

For too long, America has struggled to find a balance between pain control and the scourge of opioid addiction. As a former Medical Board Director and Officer with the USFDA, Dr. Mehta has taken millions of illegally distributed opioids from bad pharmaceutical companies off our pharmacy shelves and has cracked down on bad doctors. He understands deeply that America needs an action plan that not only coordinates federal and state efforts to crackdown on illicit drugs, but that also protects the treatment of veterans and patients along with the doctors and nurses who care for them. Dr. Mehta’s Opioid Action Plan (OAP) will develop model guidelines for State Medical Boards that (1) provide a fair and balanced approach to prosecuting doctors for overprescribing pain medications while mitigating access issues for patients who are suffering from intractable pain and diseases, (2) will protect coordination between local and federal law enforcement officers involved in cracking down on illicit narcotics flowing through our borders and (3) will vote to eliminate U.S. foreign aid to countries that foster socialist governments run on narco trafficking.

We must secure our border – an uncontrolled and chaotic border doesn’t just affect border states. It affects all of us. When illegal drugs and criminals pour into our country, it puts everyone’s lives at risk. That’s why Rik will work with President Trump to secure our southern border and fight for safe and legal immigration. Sanctuary cities are also a threat to our public safety and national security. Rik will fight to put an end to sanctuary cities by protecting the relationship our local NJ law enforcement officers have with ICE instead of undermining their efforts done by the likes of NJ’s current Attorney General. As part of border security, we must also address our broken immigration process. We need to reduce and consolidate the number of Visa programs that waste taxpayer money and make the U.S. unsafe. As your Senator, Rik will introduce ‘Stop Light Legislation’ that will consolidate all Visa programs into one of three programs:

Green Card: Permanent residency.

Yellow Card: Pending review and temporary status.

Red Card: Short term visitor status and deportation.

Rik is a staunch Constitutionalist and believes in our right to bear arms. Our approach to gun use should be evidence-based and not an emotional reaction.

Right-to-Carry

There’s evidence that right-to-carry laws reduce murder rates by close to 2% annually. Right-to-carry could significantly help reduce the amount of violent crimes in Newark and other inner cities.

Violence is a Mental Health Issue

We need to treat the causes, not just the symptoms of people using guns for violent acts. Let’s look at the determinants of violence and focus federal dollars on that instead of insane mandatory buyback programs, over-regulation and other attacks on our Constitution. Rik’s disappointed, but not surprised that Cory Booker’s federal programs stop short of funding for the determinants of violence; i.e. mental health and suicide. Cory’s focus on short-term solutions that provide him easy wins have not helped our communities. We must educate people on the safe use of guns and focus on the determinants of violence like weak and declining mental health and alarming rates of suicide; especially among our elderly.

Our founding fathers were concerned about an expansive criminal code that could threaten our individual liberties. The President has taken the first steps to remedy past mistakes by signing into law signature legislation, the First Step Act, and creating incremental changes to our criminal justice system. But there’s more we need to do – especially in terms of prosecutorial waste. Over the last 30 years, we’ve grown the number of criminal offenses in the U.S. code by over 2000 vastly redundant laws.

As the son of an educator, Dr. Mehta understands that the current policy framework for education disadvantages Americans and makes us less competitive than other countries. Per capita, the US spends the most on education with the lowest test scores. An alarming number of students in the U.S. are simply not being taught to analyze, problem solve, synthesize and form their own opinions about the materials they study. In order to fix the broken education system, Dr. Mehta supports the following policies:

Restore Decision-Making Authority to State and Local Leaders

Reduce the Size and Scope of the Department of Education by Eliminating Ineffective and Duplicative Programs

Establish School Choice for Children of Military Families

Recognize that Parents and Private Preschool Providers Should Be the First and Second Options for Families’ Early Education Needs, and Avoid Any Incentives to Expand Government Preschool

Decouple Federal Financing from Accreditation

Consolidate the Five Federal Student Loan Programs into a Single Option with a Borrowing Cap

Over 348,000 New Jersey jobs are supported through trade with Mexico and Canada. However, NAFTA takes advantage of American workers. Rik supports President Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) because it will create a fair playing field for American workers and benefit New Jersey farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. You know who doesn’t support the USMCA and other fair deals for Americans? Cory Booker.

Rik agrees that an overhaul of our tax code was long overdue. But, high taxed States, like New Jersey, should have an incremental approach to the lowering of the deduction cap because it has unfairly penalized our low and middle classes. Rik will fight to make it affordable to buy a house. As your next Senator, Rik will introduce an amendment to the tax law that provides an incentive to high-tax states that will incrementally increase the deduction cap for every time the state lowers property tax. This, in effect, will force highfalutin, money-bagging State Governors, like Phil Murphy, to lower taxes. We need new policies that will help people live in New Jersey, not leave it.

If a New Jersey family spent money like the federal government did, their home would be repossessed, and they would probably end up in jail. Now the extreme socialists on the left want to add countless expensive “free” programs to our already inflated budget with no plans to pay for anything. That is as ridiculous as it is irresponsible. We must balance our budget and bring some common sense back to Washington.

Freedom is never free. And, it’s never wrong for the President to make a decision to bring American troops home and reunite them with their families. Countries that have a closer geographic interest to war-torn regions, such as Syria and the Middle East, must pull their own weight and work to maintain peace. We must bring our troops home when it’s not our war. These brave men and women have sacrificed everything to protect our nation, and we owe it to them to take care of them when they exit active duty.

Hurricane Sandy did $70.2 billion in economic damage to the State of New Jersey and caused erosion of our shoreline. We need the state to be in top economic shape so it can tackle the environmental threats of the future. We need to stop socialist programs that will spend away our future, put our kids at risk and put us in a place where we can’t recover from another Sandy.

The left has an endless stream of costly proposals without a realistic way to pay for them. Meanwhile the federal government can’t even afford to pass a transportation bill to fix our current roads and bridges without raising taxes. Something has to give. Republican or Democrat, regardless of your stance, one thing we should all agree on is that a strong economy gives us opportunities to solve our problems and regain our prosperity.