Congressional candidate Jason Levesque has a plan for Maine that includes improving infrastructure in rural areas of the state, reducing the tax burden on small businesses, and reducing energy costs for Mainers by employing more nuclear power and tapping U.S. oil reserves. Levesque said he would also repeal the recent health care reform laws championed by the Obama administration, place limits on medical malpractice suits and widen the market in which Maine residents could buy health insurance.

Levesque, a Republican, is running against incumbent Democrat Mike Michaud for Maine’s District 2 seat on the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Maine’s second Congressional District, with its abundant natural resources, skilled labor, ‘Yankee’ ingenuity, and work ethic should be the driving force of Maine’s economy. But we need to recognize first that there are two Maines, each one with its own challenges,” said Levesque on the economic challenges the state is currently facing.

The first Maine, as perceived by Levesque, consists of the state’s rural and less economically developed areas where infrastructure improvements would facilitate growth. Such upgrades would be made possible by legislation to improve rail service, interstate highway systems, high speed internet access, and ports.

“These improvements will help Maine companies access resources necessary to succeed in a global marketplace, create a demand for Maine products in the global marketplace, thereby increasing our net exports” said Levesque.

Levesque’s second Maine consists of the State’s more populous and developed regions. Here, he said he sees the primary challenges to economic growth as “oppressive taxation, burdensome regulations and a hostile government”.

“Legislation needs to promote small business growth, not stifle it. Expensive regulatory burdens need to be lifted and/or modernized to empower Maine business to invest more of what they earn back into their businesses to upgrade, higher more employees, expand, invest in new products or technologies, and expand their market appeal to new consumers,” said Levesque.

The effects of such tax breaks and deregulation would also be felt by Maine’s tourism industry, which is vital to the economy. Levesque said he believes that by reducing taxes and regulations, businesses would see reduced overhead costs. This reduction in the cost of operations would then be passed on to the consumer, making Maine a more attractive destination for tourists.

A key problem facing both Maines, according to Levesue, is the cost of energy. His solution to this problem involves reducing dependency upon foreign oil by tapping into sources of domestic oil supplies.

“We must support efforts to tap into opportunities that tap into domestic oil supplies here in the U.S. (offshore or the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge). Doing so will give us market stability and more predictable prices. An increased supply of oil that is produced domestically will also force foreign suppliers to lower their costs to compete with U.S. production.”

Additionally, Levesque is in favor of increasing the amount of energy produced by nuclear power plants.

“It has been used safely for years and it’s time to make it available again.”

While Levesque stated that many forms of alternative energy, such as wind and solar, should be researched, he maintains that nuclear power and domestic oil production is “the quickest route to energy independence.”

On the issue of health care, Levesque is in favor of repealing the recent health care reforms passed by congress, opting instead for limits on medical malpractice suits.

“TORT reform that would cap damages on medical malpractice awards and eliminate junk lawsuits against health care providers is a necessity. Let’s get the lawyers out of the operating rooms. Out-of-control litigation drives up the cost of health care and, subsequently, insurance costs.”

Levesque would improve Maine’s health care system by broadening the insurance market to include out of state providers and allowing small businesses to band together to buy insurance plans, which would lower costs.

“Increased access for consumers to out-of-state health insurers increases market competition and lowers costs; it’s Economics 101. . . When you are trying to purchase health insurance for, say, five to 10 employees, you can only diversify the risk so much, which can make health insurance very expensive. But if 20 small businesses of five to 10 employees each can join together and purchases health insurance for 100 to 200 employees, the diversification of risk is much greater and the cost much less.”

Levesque also stresses the importance of the Second Amendment and other freedoms granted by the Bill of rights.

“The freedoms guaranteed to each American in the Constitution are all equally important and we must be on guard for any encroachment on our rights as Americans–no one right is more important than any other; the Constitution is one document,” said Levesque.