I’m running to be your Governor to bring back hope that all Georgians will be able to afford to see a doctor when they are sick and have access to quality preventative care to keep them healthy.
Unfortunately, getting sick or injured is a part of life—it is part of being human. And taking care of our fellow humans when they are sick or injured should be fundamental—it is humane.
Access to healthcare should not be reserved for those who are fortunate enough to be wealthy or to be born without a pre-existing condition. Healthcare should be affordable and accessible for all Georgians.
I remember being without health insurance when I was growing up. I remember the fear and worry that my mother suffered as a result. No parent should feel the helplessness of having nowhere to turn when their child is sick.
Here in Georgia, we have already seen the dire consequences of neglecting to opt into Medicaid expansion, which has caused more than 500,000 Georgians to remain uninsured. These Georgians are the most vulnerable among us and we must look after them – 92 percent of Georgians currently served by Medicaid are children, elderly or disabled.
Eight rural Georgia hospitals have already closed since the decision not to expand Medicaid. These hospitals were located in counties where many Georgians are scraping by to make a living and cannot afford health insurance. This is hurting the people that cannot get treatment and it is hurting the communities that are losing jobs, not just from the direct layoffs, but from the surrounding businesses and the companies that refuse to locate somewhere without access to a hospital.
As Governor, I will expand Medicaid and provide access to affordable coverage for more working Georgians. Leaving Georgians uninsured is wrong for families and hurts our clinics, hospitals, and providers.
We also must crack down on employee misclassification. Too many businesses across this state are misclassifying true employees as independent contractors. Oftentimes this denies these hard-working Georgians access to healthcare benefits and denies them their employers’ contribution to their Social Security benefits—not to mention withholds valuable dollars from our state budget in payroll taxes. We need to clarify relevant laws so that it is harder for employers to take advantage of the system, we need to increase Georgia Department of Labor funding so the agency can conduct more thorough annual audits, and we need to make sure that employee misclassification never occurs with state contracts.
As an attorney, I worked to expose waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars in the healthcare system. I will continue that work as Governor. If we deliberately work to cut waste and fraud from our system, healthcare costs will come down.
As your Governor, I will make it a priority to expand and improve healthcare in our state. I will work to ensure that we devote adequate resources to rural hospitals, OB/GYN and pediatric services, mental health, AIDS research and prevention, and fighting the opioid epidemic plaguing our communities. Georgia ranks among the top eleven states with the most prescription opioid overdoses. My brother fell victim to opioid addiction. Thankfully, he’s been clean for over a year now, but he needed help along the way. I know firsthand the harm these drugs can do to Georgia families. That’s why I sponsored the Opiate Abuse Prevention Act in 2017 to increase regulation of these dangerous drugs.
And I will continue the work I have done for years as a legislator to protect women’s rights and reproductive freedom. Employers and politicians must not be allowed to make healthcare decisions for Georgian women and insurance companies must not be allowed to charge unfair rates.
To continue to withhold healthcare from hundreds of thousands of Georgians, and to turn a blind eye as employers do the same, is wrong morally, it is wrong economically, and it does not represent Georgian values. I believe that everyone deserves access to affordable healthcare and that Georgia would be a stronger state for it.