Dr. Matt G. Heinz, who is currently is running for the Congressional District 2 seat, was in Douglas last week meeting with a group of local Democrats at their new office on G Ave.
Dr. Matt Heinz speaks with Lucia Spikes and Judge Alma Vildosala, during Heinz his visit to Douglas August 7. Trisha Maldonado/Douglas Dispatch
Heinz, a physician at Tucson Medical Center, earned his BA in Chemistry from Albion College and has an MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine. In 2000, he was granted a fellowship in vascular surgery at Harvard Medical School, where he conducted research. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Arizona and currently lives in Tucson.
“My goals as doctor and legislator are the same; diagnose the problems and fix them,” he said.
Heinz points to his track record in the state House to back him up.
"I have four years" of working on bills, Heinz said. "My opponent has four weeks."
His Democratic challenger in the August 28 primary will be U.S. Rep. Ron Barber.
Barber won a June special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Gifford’s resigned earlier this year to focus on recovery after last year's mass shooting; she handpicked Barber to run for her seat. Barber was Giffords' district director and was injured less severely in the shooting.
Heinz has worked on other efforts, such as a job-creation bill to help renewable-energy companies that grow algae and opposing legislation to allow employers to elect out of providing contraception. An openly gay legislator, he called Gov. Jan Brewer's quest to eliminate health-care benefits for state employees' same-sex partners an attempt to "legalize bigotry."
Heinz, who opposes SB1070, feels that there is a lack of legal channels for entry, a booming drug trade and the impossibility of creating a physical barrier between Arizona and Mexico necessitate new approaches to immigration issues that recognize that this is a bi-partisan issue of law enforcement.
We also need to address the lack of legal channels for entry by implementing measures that abolish quotas for countries and address the realities of the demand for immigrant labor from Mexico and Central America. This means implementing guest worker programs and providing a pathway to citizenship that includes education and fines for prior infractions of immigration law for those who are already resident in the U.S, he stated.
Heinz would like to see a program like the “Bracero Program” from the 1940’s implemented. The Bracero’s program as was a series of laws and diplomatic agreements, between the United States and Mexico, for the importation of temporary contract laborers from Mexico to the United States.
Heinz said, the surest way to create jobs is to invest in the potential of Americans to invent new goods and services. He supports expanding programs like the America COMPETES Act, a law that gives federal agencies the power to issue “X-Prize” style competitions. In a 21st century economy, federal X-Prizes can be the catalyst to stimulate new ideas and innovation that will grow the American economy.
According to the Congressional candidate’s website, education is a function of community and there needs to be a balance between recognizing local levels and needs and building clear, national standards.
“Part of improving our educational system is creating new metrics for success that move beyond standardized testing,” Heinz said. “Training to take a test is not all that education is about, there needs to be more focus on life skills and preparedness to ensure that our future workers can compete.”
Regardless of the verdict in Supreme Court case over the Affordable Health Care Act, improving the health care system will always be at the top of the legislative agenda. With the number of uninsured and uninsurable in the private market, physicians and healthcare providers are best equipped to inform the process.
“My experience as both a medical doctor and legislator makes me uniquely qualified to health care problems,” he said.
“We must have the strongest representative in D.C., my experience, my background in health care, and I have a record to stand on, that prepares me to be the best representative for Southern Arizona,” Heinz said.