I had the opportunity today to participate in a meet and greet with Kristi Noem. After touring a couple of small businesses, she sat down and discussed current policy issues and concerns with a small group of us for about a half hour.
She addressed the health care bill and stated that the proper approach is to repeal it. At the same time, she noted that some of the provisions in the bill (such as permitting older children to remain on the family policy through 26 years old) might be good to implement on their own merits. However, as she put it “increased competition is the way to do it” (bring down costs and broaden coverage).
Kristi Noem is definitely in favor of tort reform–though she believes that it is the sort of thing which is best handled by the states. She noted that several states currently have caps, which help to limit liabilities, but not all states do. She spoke of the risk pool which was established here in South Dakota as one approach to handling those who cannot procure insurance through regular means.
Because several of those who were present were businesspeople, there was discussion about immigration–particularly as it pertains to hiring, H1B visas and the like. “First step is to secure the border” and then we need to modify the lawful immigration process to ensure that people who desire to live here and work here are able to do so more easily.
Speaking on issues generally, she showcased her experience in getting things done in Pierre, listing several bills which she had herded through the lawmaking process. She also said that this election is “a referendum on both political parties” and that she fully expects to be held to account by the people of South Dakota when she is elected to be our representative. As she put it, if she does not do what she is saying she will, then the people have her permission to vote her out in two years.
When the question was asked about whether we could shrink the federal government, she stated that she would like to see budgets rolled back to pre-bailout/pre-stimulus numbers. As far as what areas would be reduced, that is something which would need to be looked in detail.
All in all, it was a good discussion. Several of us would have wished to cover more topics (and in greater depth), but we understand the constraints of her schedule with only a couple of weeks remaining before decision day.