Mike Michaud, the Democratic congressional incumbent seeking re-election to Maine’s District 2 seat is running on a platform that emphasizes the importance of job creation, infrastructure improvement, and small business development.  Michaud is also a proponent of health insurance reform, affordable prescription drugs and clean energy.

According to Michaud’s campaign website, “Mike’s top priority continues to be promoting policies that support a healthy economy and the creation of jobs.”

Some of Michaud’s actions as a congressman to help bolster the economy have included supporting the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in order to create jobs in Maine and nationwide and helping to write legislation to create a commission that would invest federal resources for economic development and job creation in the most economically distressed areas of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

Michaud has also helped to increase funding for transportation infrastructure upgrades in Maine and believes such upgrades need to continue.

“Mike believes that we must invest in our transportation and infrastructure through a strong multi-year highway programs re-authorization. This will help offset the continued rise in construction unemployment, the collapse of the private construction market, and budget constraints that limit states’ ability to finance highway and transit projects,” said Michaud on his campaign website.

Also important to Michaud with regard to the economy is small business development.  As a member of the Small Business Committee, Michaud touted his work helping to “promote policies that opened up the federal marketplace to small businesses, promote fair regulations, increase access to affordable startup capital, and update important Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.”

Regarding the nation’s health care system, Michaud is a proponent of the recent insurance reforms introduced by the Obama administration on the grounds that the new laws endow patients and doctors, rather than insurance companies with control over health decisions. Michaud also points to the fact that the reform will end such practices as insurance companies denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and the termination of coverage when patients become ill as positive changes to the nation’s health care system.

Michaud iis also an advocate of lower prescription drug costs for Americans. To this end, in 2007 Michaud helped to pass the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, which directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, though the bill later died in the senate. The recent health care reform act required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.

Additionally, Michaud worked to reduce prescription drug costs for Mainers by joining with U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe to ask the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America to help Mainers gain access to lower cost medicines. This appeal resulted in the Rx Cares for ME program, which helped give Mainers a single, central point of access for patient assistance programs in order to allow them to determine if they are eligible for programs that grant free or reduced cost medications.

On the subject of energy, Michaud sees the fluctuating price of fuel as a great concern for Mainers and has advocated for relief to help citizens deal with increasing energy costs. In an effort to reduce energy costs and increase energy independence, he introduced legislation to encourage the use of biomass energy plants and change the tax code to allow companies that employ on-site bio-mass plants to take advantage of a tax credit. Michaud has also voted in favor of extending tax credits for those producing energy through such renewable means as wind, tidal and ethanol sources and has supported legislation in favor of tax credits to home owners who install small wind generators and geothermal heating systems. He supports oil production in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, and the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the continental United States.