GORHAM — Making a return visit to the Androscoggin Valley this Thursday is presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson. Williamson will be holding a public meeting on Dec. 5 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the White Mountain Cafe and Bookstore at 212 Main St. Williamson held a town hall meeting in Berlin back in April.
The stop in Gorham is part of a three-day swing Williamson is making throughout the state to outline her newly released “Whole Health Plan.”
The author and political activist said her plan calls for expanding the debate on health care in this country beyond how to pay for care. On her webpage, Williamson said the current health-care system focuses too much on treating the symptoms and does not focus enough on treating the causes of illnesses.
She argues for broadening the focus to look at removing toxins from water, air and food supplies and promoting active lifestyles.
Williamson’s proposal calls for universal health coverage with plans provided by employers or purchased on an insurance exchange. Deductibles, coinsurance, or co-pays would be lowered or reduced for a broader range of preventive services. Health insurance would be made affordable by sliding scale premium subsidies.
Health plans would be required to cover vision, dental, hearing, behavioral/mental health and addiction treatment services. Williamson supports refundable tax credits for gym memberships and subsidizing centers that provide yoga and meditation. Gun violence would be treated as a public health issue.
Williamson would allow both private and public health plans but would require all private insurers to operate as a not-for-profit organization. She would also mandate that the National Institutes of Health conduct all future drug development so the government would hold the patent rights to all drugs and could keep drug prices affordable.
Williamson said she would repeal the corporate tax cuts contained in the Trump $1.7 trillion tax cut but would make the middle class tax cuts permanent. She has called for increased spending for education, free tuition at public colleges and forgiveness of student debt.
One of the pillars of Williamson’s platform is her reparations plan to repay the debt she believes the country owes to descendants of American slaves brought to this country against their will. She would set up a reparations council that would disburse up to $500 billion over a 20-year period for economic and education renewal.
To pay for her proposals, Williamson is calling for a 3 percent tax on billionaires and a 2 percent tax on those with incomes of $50 million and higher.
Williamson said she is running for president because she offers voters a break from the same old politics. She describes herself as a political visionary who can address the erosion of the country’s political system.
“In order to have a moral and spiritual awakening in America, we need a leader who is a moral and spiritual awakener. I believe I am that person,” she concludes in her biography.