Ben Sasse formally launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate Monday in his hometown of Fremont. Sasse will speak in North Platte Tuesday. He challenges business attorney Bart McLeay, former State Treasurer Shane Osborn and Sid Dinsdale, part of the family that owns the Pinnacle Banks.
Sasse, 41, is president of Midland University of Fremont, where he also teaches history. He has experience in government, serving as an assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2007-09.
He will speak at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the conference room of Trego/Dugan Aviation as part of a statewide swing.
Sasse is campaigning to repeal Obamacare. he has already raised more than $800,000 for his campaign, the Omaha World Herald reported.
In the three years he has been president at Midland, enrollment has increased and Midland recently purchased Dana College in Blair. Sasse became the 15th president of Midland University in December 2010 at age 37.
Sasse said the very idea of America is now in peril.
“Our culture is failing to transmit our national inheritance to many of our nation’s children, and we are reaping the bitter fruit," he said.
Sasse said “our politicians in DC seem content to play games while they squander our national inheritance.”
Referring to “spiritual rot,” Sasse said our culture “denies the obvious fact that family breakdown is the root cause of both poverty and crime, and we increasingly deny the value of the unborn, at the beginning of life, and the frail and elderly at its end."
Sasse devoted about a third of his announcement speech Monday to repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“I’ve read the 2,300 page bill,” he said. “It’s not just bad… it’s worse than you think.”
Sasse called Obamacare “the greatest single insinuation of government into every aspect of our life. If it lives, America as we know it will die. If the idea of America is to live, it must be stopped."
As assistant secretary of HHS, Sasse focused especially on the Food and Drug Administration, Medicare, Medicaid, and the unsustainability of national entitlement spending, according to the Midland College website. His research looks at efforts to modernize payment systems, to migrate from "paying for more" to "paying for better" in ways that will stimulate entrepreneurial innovation from doctors, hospitals, and adjacent industries, the website says.
He said Obamacare is a microcosm of the belief that "government is the engine for meaning, and growth, for opportunity and vitality. It is a program founded from beginning to end on fake math and false promises."
He said most of the stated goals of the healthcare reform can be achieved through patient-centered health policy solutions in free-market alternatives, but he didn’t specify further. He said he would explain more during the campaign.
“We plan to talk a great deal about patient-centered health policy solutions – for we want both to wreck ObamaCare but then also to replace it with something actually workable," he said. "And we will talk about the emerging golden age of American energy, about rolling back the regulatory state, about an economic agenda of growth, about a prioritized foreign policy, and more."