Democratic Presidential hopeful Julian Castro recently made headlines when he criticized Iowa and New Hampshire's position as the first two nominating states for their lack of diversity.
It's one of the reasons, why the Texas Democrat has focused on the Silver State. Since announcing his candidacy, he's visited the Silver State more than any other candidate including going into rural areas often overlooked by major candidates. KUNR's Senior Political Reporter Paul Boger caught up with the Texas Democrat after a recent campaign event to talk about his candidacy and what he sees as the most pressing issues facing Nevadans.
“When I think about Nevada, I think about the future,” Castro said. “It's a growing state with a diverse population, but also a lot of the challenges that so many communities face in our country: a lack of housing opportunity for a lot of people, rising healthcare costs, the need for more job opportunities.”
On healthcare, Castro has proposed a modified “Medicare for All” plan. He says America should be the healthiest nation.
“I've talked about a plan that would base our healthcare system off of Medicare but also give people a private opt out if they have a strong private health insurance plan that they want to hold on to,” said Castro.
“People also need the ability to get medication that they can easily afford. And right now, medication costs too much. In the United States, we need to reform our patent laws, [and] allow for the importation of drugs. We need to allow the federal government to negotiate direct drug price prices directly with the manufacturers, make these important changes that will allow people to avail themselves of good health care and be healthier.”
For any significant healthcare reform, the next president is likely going to need bipartisanship support in Congress. The same is true for gun control. While reports show Americans overwhelmingingly support some measures like expanded background checks, the issues is a non-starter for conservative lawmakers. But Castro says the desire for change is out there.
“The voters have the opportunity to elect a Congress and a Senate and a president that believes in common-sense gun safety legislation," said Castro. "I think they're going to do it. I think we're going to have an opportunity in January of 2021 to get something passed in an unprecedented way. We may not have 60 votes, but I'm willing to jump over the filibuster to get good common-sense gun safety legislation done.”