GOLDFIELD, Iowa – J.D. Scholten, the Democratic challenger in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District race, held a town hall meeting at the Crossroads Youth & Family Center in Goldfield on Sunday afternoon. The stop was part of his “Don’t Forget About Us” tour of rural communities in the district that have less than 1000 residents. 

Scholten, 39, discussed with the group just shy of 20 people his “fix, fight, and secure” platform. 

  • Fix healthcare
  • Fight for an economy that benefits everyone.
  • Secure democracy by cleaning up D.C. and the special interests that dictate to them

He said this race is like “night and day” when compared to his 2018 race against U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who defeated him by over 10,000 votes. 

“Last time we hope to win, this year we expect to win,” Scholten said.

He did not commit to endorsing a presidential candidate but said he preferred all of the Democratic presidential candidates’ health care plans to what Republicans offered. He said he supports Medicare for All; he added it would take several stages to achieve.

Caffeinated Thoughts asked Scholten after the town hall if he supported ending private health insurance options that Medicare for All requires.

“I think the first step is to have a public option, and my goal is to have such a good public option that things just kind of go into that direction. And so, the jump to universal health care is the last move there,” he told Caffeinated Thoughts.

He said Iowans shouldn’t have to rely upon the graciousness of others to pay for their medical bills. 

The Urban Institute, a center-left think tank, projected that Medicare for All would require an additional $34 trillion in federal spending in the program’s first year. Caffeinated Thoughts asked Scholten considering the United States has a larger population than Canada and Scandanavian countries, that are pointed to models to follow how he thinks Congress should pay for this plan.

He never provided an answer.

“We are already paying the most per person out of any country, and so there is a lot more efficiency. You see, I mean, you look at it with what we have to pay for with pills, medicine, and prescription drugs. It’s nuts. Why does it cost us ten times more and sometimes one thousand times more than it does in other countries? When are we going to value our health?” Scholten asked.

“I firmly believe that there is a way to do this without it affecting the middle class so much. I view this, we look at these small businesses here on Main Street, what does it mean for them? Because how can they compete against a corporation around here when it comes to a workforce? Because they’re struggling to make wages, to keep it above cost and everything where some of these corporations they can afford because they’re multinational or national-oriented. That is a huge part of my focus, allowing these Main Street companies to have that option and that is a huge part of all of this because you look at the Fourth District our backbone is agriculture and small businesses and neither one of them traditionally are an area that benefits from healthcare,” he added.

Watch Scholten discuss Medicare for All with Caffeinated Thoughts below:

Watch his full town hall event below:

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