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These reforms will serve three groups, patients who are receiving care, providers who are working to manage patient care, and the taxpayers of the State of Alabama who are paying the bill. Patients will receive higher-quality care, providers will offer the best management of that care, and the taxpayers will have a better product at a lower cost.

When I was still practicing medicine, I saw anyone who needed care. I would travel to some of the most impoverished counties in west Alabama and spend a day seeing and caring for patients. If they didn’t have the money to pay, I wouldn’t charge them. Many times, I would buy medications for those who could not afford to buy their prescriptions. As a practicing physician, I would never want anything to come between me and my patient - especially the federal government. I am licensed by the state of Alabama, not the federal government, and we will always keep it that way.

I am a physician who cared for all my patients regardless of their ability to pay. but I have another role to play now. I am also your Governor. And I have to be concerned for our state. Our country is made up of fifty sovereign states and as one of its Governors I cannot sit by and watch our country continue down the path it is on, while our nation is drowning in 17-point-2 trillion dollars in debt.

The Administration in Washington and the debt it continues to build will sink this country.

It’s OK to question the federal government. As a matter of fact it’s our duty. It’s my duty and that’s exactly what I am doing.

The tenth amendment to our great Constitution, gives us that authority.

Government cannot grow unless we give it permission to grow.

If state’s do not stand firm and say “no more”, there will be no one left to stop the out of control spending in Washington.

I love Alabama. And I love America. If we continue down this path, the America our Founding Fathers envisioned will no longer exist. Gone will be the Promise that was once based on opportunity, independence and individual liberties.

Nearly 1 million people in Alabama are on Medicaid. It is not my goal to put more people on Medicaid but to have less. It is not my intent to put able-bodied individuals on a government dependency program.

We will encourage our people with the opportunity for education and employment. It will not happen overnight, but I truly believe where there is opportunity, and training for higher paying, higher skilled jobs there is greater capacity for independence and less people will be dependent on government.

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There is no greater opportunity we can give an Alabama child in poverty than a chance to excel in school. So many of our children need this opportunity - but too few have access to it.

And the earlier they begin receiving a quality education, the better chance they have at success.

Alabama is home to one of the Nation’s Top Pre K programs. Last year we opened 100 new Pre K sites, and I can tell you, Pre K is making a real difference in the lives of Alabama’s children.

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