The paper presents a mock interview with Marco Rubio, the U.S. Senator for the state of Florida. It features information about his background, as well as the past and present political involvement. Moreover, it presents the data about his policy agenda and views. The interview refers to the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act, introduced in 2018. During the interview, Rubio answers the questions about the significance of the bill, its impact on Veterans, and the potential improvement of mental health services for them.
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Marco Rubio’s Background and Past Political Involvement
Marco Rubio is the junior U.S. Senator for the state of Florida, who is currently on his second term in the Senate. His political career began in 1998 when he was elected to the West Miami City Commission (“Marco Rubio biography,” 2018). In 1999, he became a member of the Florida House of Representatives and, in 2010, was elected to the Senate. His history of political involvement is notable as he has always tried to improve the state government.
For example, he collected ideas from residents of Florida to develop a list of 100 proposals to the legislature aimed to improve the quality of citizens’ lives. More than half of Rubio’s suggestions became laws (“Marco Rubio biography,” 2018). In 2013, he was one of the Senators who presented the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, which aimed to improve immigrants’ pathway to citizenship. The Senator is also known for his desire to replace the Affordable Care Act with a more beneficial healthcare system.
Marco Rubio’s Current Political Involvement
Rubio’s current political involvement includes the presentation of reforms aimed to reduce the expenses on education, as well as to propose bills on national security, foreign policies, and healthcare. Currently, Rubio is in his second term in office, which will end in 2023. The constituent group Rubio represents is the citizens of Florida. Rubio’s current committee assignments include the Committees on Intelligence, Aging, Appropriations, Foreign Relations, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
The responsibilities within these committees include, among others, studying intelligence activities of the government, analyzing the problems of the elderly, writing the legislation related to the allocation of federal funds, developing measures to foster international commerce, and proposing legislation related to small business administration.
Marco Rubio’s Current Policy Agenda and Priorities
Rubio states that his current priorities are the elimination of poverty, the implementation of affordable education, and the improvement of healthcare programs for the elderly (U.S. Senate, n.d.). His current policy agenda includes, but is not limited to, K-12 educational policy, reforms in the higher education system, repealing the Affordable Care Act, and prioritization of defense spending. Rubio is also one of the people supporting the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 and aims to assist immigrants in obtaining legal status.
The selected bill is the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act introduced in 2018 (S. 2548, 2018). Rubio is one of the people who have presented the bill to the Committee on Veteran Affairs. The following questions were designed to learn about the Senator’s expectations on its outcomes as well as his position about the state of Veterans’ mental health.
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What is the background of such a bill? Why do you think that it is vital to introduce it?
I believe that many Veterans have experienced challenges that may be hard for us to understand. They participated in combat operations, which have affected their mental state. Some of them may be victims of physical assault of a sexual nature that requires special consideration. As Veterans have lived their lives serving the country, I believe that it is vital for us to support them and provide them with full access to mental health services.
What impact do you think this bill can make on Veterans’ mental health?
In my opinion, the primary purpose of expanded and urgent access to mental health care is to eliminate the adverse outcomes of poor mental state among Veterans. I think that the bill will decrease the risk of suicide among this group of the population, as well as prevent former members of the Armed Forces from harming others due to mental health complications. Finally, the bill will provide individuals with an opportunity to avoid the consequences of their negative experiences on duty, such as depression, fear, and anger.
How will mental health services be improved according to the bill?
First, the bill will ensure that mental health services are organized in therapeutically appropriate settings and consider the needs of Veterans and the circumstances that led to diminished mental state. Second, the bill is designed to provide referral services for those who are deemed non-eligible and cannot receive care within the Department. We strive to make the data about mental health care options available and visible to the target group through public information services and the facilities of the Department.
Rubio is a member of the U.S. Senate, whose proposals and political involvement are significant. He is an advocate for change in legislation and strives to improve the quality of life for Florida’s citizens. The mock interview suggests that the Senator is concerned about the issues associated with Veterans’ mental health state and aims to eliminate the adverse consequences of military service that may lead to self-harm and violent behavior.
Marco Rubio biography. (2018). Web.
U.S. Senate. (n.d.). Biography. Web.