Millions of American’s are concerned our country is on the wrong track, they fear the best days are behind, not in front of us, and that the legacy which will be left for their children is one of debt, high taxes and government control of everything from healthcare to their education. However, this week I also had the opportunity to meet with an amazing group of optimists. They were small business owners and farmers from around southeast and south central Missouri. They are risk-takers that gambled on themselves, their own hard work, or an innovative idea and are creating their own success.

These amazing individuals and families remind me what we want the American Dream to be and that there is a better way to get there – a way which empowers the individual, not the government and puts a greater emphasis on choice, responsibility and personalized freedoms and liberties. Unfortunately, everyone I met with expressed concern that our country is headed in the opposite direction, one of more regulations, higher taxes, an unskilled workforce and additional layers of government intrusion on their family and farms. It’s not too hard to see why. For eight years, we’ve been dealt stimulus spending, awful regulations like the proposed Water of the United States Rule, a costly ‘Cap and Trade’ proposal, a mass amnesty executive order, and repeated unconstitutional actions by numerous government agencies.

One of the biggest reforms we must tackle is not only repealing Obamacare, but replacing it with a market oriented proposal that removes government bureaucrats getting between you and your doctor of choice. Removing that level of bureaucracy will provide a better way to provide healthcare for both individuals and employers. Obamacare is failing – right here in Missouri some insurance companies have requested to increase health insurance premiums by over 20% in order to make the economics of the Obamacare mandates work. If the State approves these increases many folks won’t be able to afford coverage. Additionally, the independent Congressional Budget Office projects that as healthcare becomes too expensive for employers to offer, Obamacare will directly result in the loss of 2 million American jobs over the next ten years. That impact is something I never want to see for the farmers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and families in Missouri’s 8th District.

Today we have the opportunity to stop being reactive and become proactive about our future, just like the small business owners and farmers I met with this week. I have helped author solutions as part of the Better Way agenda which from healthcare to regulations to taxes will shrink the size of government in all our lives and restore American’s confidence in their future and the future of this country. Through the Better Way we propose a healthcare system more personally tailored to each American, recognizing that there can be no one size fits all approach controlled by the government. Under the proposal, everyone will have access to quality, affordable health care and be able to take that healthcare with them regardless of what job they have or where they live. Low income individuals will have access to a refundable tax credit to help buy health insurance if an employer doesn’t offer coverage.

We will expand health savings accounts and lift restrictions on what you can use your health savings account for; allowing millions of Americans to use pretax dollars to purchase prescriptions, for doctors’ visits, or over the counter medicine and other medical needs not currently allowed. We will remove the government barriers which prevent individuals from buying insurance products across state lines, bringing in competition amongst the insurance companies to attract your business, ultimately driving down the cost of coverage.

Healthcare is just one area where we have to have proactive solutions to solve and address the problems and struggles created over the last 8 years. My hope is that new leadership in the White House will make that possible. We CAN make America great again – we absolutely owe that to the hard working people who love this country, play by the rules, and want the next generation to be better off. The agenda and plan we have laid out is a framework to achieving future prosperity in this country and to hopefully allowing millions of Americans to once again feel as though the best days for this country lie ahead, not behind.

Jason Smith represents Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Contact him at 573-335-0101 or visit

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