Local legislator comments on Obamacare, gun control to students

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Photo credit: Collin Cooper | Photo Senior Staff | @coop.97


The first semester of the Pizza and Politics series ended with Rep. Brad Daw of the Utah State Legislature walking a few dozen students through what he called “the adventure we’ve had in Utah over the last few years with Obamacare.”

The lecture and Q&A session was held Dec. 8 at Centre Stage. About 40 students attended and collectively consumed 15 boxes of pizza as they listened to Daw’s speech.

Dawes, who is the representative for the district Utah Valley University and surrounding housing lies in, started out by giving a 15-minute speech on the long, rocky road to the use of the federally mandated Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and its effects in the Beehive State.

He shared his feeling that a Utah-based solution is necessary to navigate the waters of federal healthcare, as the current status is neither sustainable nor completely fair. He said hopefully a resolution can be reached in the upcoming legislative session.

“Politics is the art of compromise, so let’s find a compromise,” Dawes said.

He also pointed out that Utah, which is among the highest in the nation in population lacking health insurance, hasn’t improved much since the Affordable Care Act was instituted in 2010.

During the Q&A period, he was also asked about his thoughts on gun control in wake of the San Bernardino shootings. He responded by saying that to him, increased gun control would be “incredibly silly.”

“You aren’t going to ban guns from people who are committed to getting them to cause trouble. It’s not going to happen.”

He then said that, in his mind, the September 11 attacks would not have happened if the pilots were armed.

Overall, he said, he hopes this lecture and other lectures prompt students to determine what they’d like their healthcare system to look like and become involved in local politics, specifically encouraging students to attend their local caucus meetings and consider becoming delegates.

“Your neighborhood caucuses, that’s one night every two years,” he said. “If you can’t do that, then I don’t know.”