PARKERSBURG - Williamstown resident David B. Wamsley has announced he will seek the Democrartic party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retirement of U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Wamsley said his major platforms will be for free health care, education reform and protection of retirement benefits.
Wamsley, a contract school psychologist, said he decided to run for the seat because of his interest in health care in America.
"For years I've had a significant level of interest in health care in America," he said Tuesday. "Health care issues in the United States are still very significant. What is called Obama Care is really not what President Obama wanted nor what most Democrats wanted; it's a botch with a lot of benefits but some of the negative involves the self employed who will have to pay significant levels of cash to have insurance."
Wamsley said what he supports is free health care. He said it is inevitable.
"So I want free health care, some call it universal but it's a marketing strategy. I have to refer to it as free," he said. "We have the opportunity to develop the foremost level of service in the world."
Wamsley said many countries use the American model at some level, but they have modified so there is a private payer or insurance payer or government payer to be responsible for all fees.
"We could look at all the models in the world and improve on that but it wouldn't be socialized medicine. It wouldn't be government managed; it would be free," he said.
Wamsley said everyone would have a swipe card with a preset amount, perhaps $1,000-$2,000.
"Upon receiving services at the doctor's or dentist's office or hospital, the health care provider can 'swipe' the card and be paid instantly," he said.
Wamsley said his plan would put the emphasis on preventive health care. He provided a plan for funding.
"I propose a 50 cent tax per $100 on each securities transaction, including short sales, stock sales, credit defaults, currency speculation, and so on," he said.
"The same .005 percent tax would apply to all commercial real estate transactions other than your own home. An individual would have to exceed $1 million in transactions, not holdings, for the tax to go above the $5,000 level. Health care for each individual in America is estimated to be significantly above that cost level."
In education Wamsley said the biggest problem has been following the latest fad, a word he used for programs such as No Child Left Behind, new math and open court reading.
"Nobody seems to remember not everybody is good at school work," he said. "Not everybody is going to score at the 50th percentile and above. We need more emphasis on real vocational education."
Wamsley said jobs like roofing your house cannot be outsourced.
"When someone comes to roof your house you don't ask them about Shakespeare and you don't ask them about algebra," he said. " You want to know if they are honest, fair in their price and responsible and capable. We need more emphasis on vocational areas."
Wamsley said other areas of concern for him include benefits protection, job creation, term limits, clean energy and infrastructure.
Wamsley, 63, was born in Elkins and grew up in rural Cowen in Webster County, the son of a stay-at-home mom and police officer dad. He graduated from Cowen High School in 1967 and West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1971 and taught for three years in Upshur County Schools.
Wamsley and his wife, Brenda Wamsley, have two daughters and two grandchildren. She is a professor and chairwoman of the department of social work at West Virginia State University in Institute.