The Craig Fahle Show

Congressman Dr. Dan Benishek On Patient Care, Mining and Federal Forests

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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Congressman Dr. Dan Benishek joins Craig to discuss healthcare policy, improving patient care and encouraging industry and economic growth growth in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Benishek serves Michigan's 1st congressional district, and prior to that he was a general surgeon at a private practice in the U.P. for more than 30 years. Benishek also has experience working in the VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Michigan.

Benishek says patients and improving patient care is a top priority and part of a national discussion. "Accountability among managers" is a key part of improving patient care, Benishek explains, however, it's not enough to say it. When Craig asks about the VA patient care issues that have recently surfaced, Benishek says that "it's become a culture where mediocrity seems to be accepted," and it will take time and effort to address the problems, create a higher standard and rebuild the confidence of employees and patients alike.

Benishek is also mindful of constituent priorities calling for job growth and legislation that reflects the need for jobs and industries in northern Michigan. "A lot of bills are killing jobs," says Benishek, who describes issues with the EPA hindering permits for new roads and the construction jobs that could go along with them. The mining industry in the Upper Peninsula could also be doing better, he says. While many people may assume mining is a thing of the past, there is improved technology and safety. Benishek recently toured a a new mine "that's the first new nickel mine in the country in over 60 years." Benishek is also hoping for improved tree harvesting practices in federal forests. He says there has been a reduction in the funding and many trees are dying from improper harvesting techniques, bugs and fires.