It’s a two party system in America. In any large political race, it’s between two people: the Republican and the Democrat. In a time where a lot of people aren’t identifying with a particular party, that might change.
Luis Daniel Muñoz, an independent, is attempting to become only the second Rhode Island governor without affiliation to either major party since the civil war.
“I’m the only true independent. I’ve said that before, and I’ll say it again. There’s another independent in the race, and I really don’t believe that person [Joe Trillo] has historically been an independent,” said Muñoz when asked about his “Independent” label.
Historically, the state’s government has been littered with claims of corruption. Many people believe that the statehouse currently is.
“I think there’s a lot of special interest within this administration,” said Muñoz when asked about the possibilities of incumbent Gina Raimondo being corrupt. “As it relates to the history Rhode Island has with some of the challenges around corruption, at the least I don’t believe that this administration has had the courage to disrupt that culture.”
The thirty-three year old medical doctor sees a lot of attributes in R.I. that can be used as building blocks towards a strong future, if the government can make a change.
“I’m going to help redefine Rhode Island because we need to redefine it. Rhode Island is beautiful. The people are beautiful. The cultures are beautiful. This is a beautiful state. It doesn’t need to be changed, we just need to reflect outward what we’re seeing inward. The only thing that needs to be changed in Rhode Island is the embedded corruption that we find throughout government.”
The changes that Dr. Muñoz feels are necessary will not come if the current governor serves for four more years.
When asked what four more years of Raimondo would mean, the candidate stated “I think we all know what we would get. A duplicate of the same. We have jobs that are coming that are inaccessible to Rhode Islanders. We have a lack of an investment in community health. We have that threat of a growing deficit which is potentially only going to be filled by more taxation. We know we’re going to get that because we know that that’s what we’ve seen.”
Inaccessibility of jobs is a problem that the father of one foresees if the Ocean State elects someone other than himself.
“When the next recession hits, and it will, the only way our economy will be sustainable will be is if individuals are aligned with work that will be in high demand in industries that are growing,” Muñoz began. “Which other candidate understands the complexities of health care both from a policy perspective and from a business perspective to such an extent that they would be able to negotiate with these insurers?”
A former researcher at the National Cancer Institute and a graduate of UCONN’s School of Medicine, the doctor feels his knowledge of the medical industry outweighs that of the other candidates. As such, he has a plan for healthcare.
“We should have community health systems that are adequately staffed and equipped with the resources necessary, so that anybody in the community can walk there and access their services. There are some insurers who don’t even reimburse private urgent care centers for urgent care services, because they don’t qualify them as emergent.”
“It’s a three pronged approach with health care,” continued Muñoz. “We do need brick and mortar. We need to understand the technology like tele-medicine and video conferencing between doctors and patients. The third prong is really pushing the insurers to reimburse these services. Community health has shown to reduce total cost of care.”
Many people are concerned with the cost of public health care at the burden of the taxpayers. There are other financial concerns within the state that are more troublesome in the gubernatorial candidate’s eyes.
When asked about the budget, he said “We need more transparency. Why are we spending sixty million dollars on consultants when we pay so much for our executives? Every person who accesses a six figure-salaried job should be equipped, not only with some degree of [specific] industry expertise, but also the program management skills. So what are these consultations about? What are they for?”
When asked where spending could be cut, the Central Falls High School alum elaborated. “Let’s look at areas of redundancy. Do we have two or three people doing the same job, maybe even from different departments? Are their initiatives overlapping?”
The budget is a concern for many Rhode Islanders, as is the state’s economy.
“I believe that an economy is built off the backs of a strong consumer body that’s educated, healthy and equip with as many negotiating skills and tools as anybody else. That means really helping people edify themselves so that they’re willing to then engage,” stated Muñoz. “I think in our school systems of k-12, we need to start realizing that our students are not really being taught thing like philosophy. They’re not being taught how to form a question and engage. They’re not being taught the fundamentals to research. They’re confronted with all of this news in a heavy media environment. My concern is that they’re not able to push back against the information to challenge it. I’m open to suggestions from teachers and administrators. We need to do more there.”
It might be an uphill battle for an independent to be elected as the governor of the state of Rhode Island, but Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz is motivated to make a difference, and is a name that you won’t soon forget.
For more information on Dr. Muñoz, visit his website and follow him onFacebook and Twitter.
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