No one in our community should die because they can’t afford the cost of healthcare. Period. No hospital should face closure under the burden of treating uninsured patients. And no essential worker in this COVID-19 crisis – grocery clerks, delivery drivers, cooks – should be asked to risk their lives for us without having affordable healthcare coverage of their own.
Now more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennessee should expand Medicaid in the state. A majority of states already have done so, recognizing the health and economic benefits to individuals, healthcare providers, hospitals, and governments. We must make sure that our most vulnerable community members have access to medical care, including those who are self-employed, experiencing homelessness, uninsured, gig workers, recently laid off, and those in the Affordable Care Act “donut hole” who earn too much to qualify for TennCare but earn too little to afford subsidized private insurance.
As our state plans ahead for post-pandemic economic recovery, workforce health will be a key factor in business productivity and investment decisions. If Tennessee continues to rank in the bottom 10 US states in national healthcare rankings, that will slow our local businesses’ recovery from this pandemic and depress our community’s ability to attract quality 21st century jobs and companies.
When elected State Representative for District 16, I will make improving the health outcomes of our community and state a top priority - it just makes moral sense and sound economics.