Throughout my medical career, I saw how insurers progressively increased premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. They denied life-saving medical care and eventually refused to insure anyone with a pre-existing medical condition.
When I left my full-time job to care for my two sons as a single mom, I was unable to purchase insurance because of a car accident I was in 20 years prior. My youngest son needed extensive therapies and his father’s policy refused coverage.
Before the ACA was passed, 60% of consumer bankruptcies were the result of millions of Americans becoming overwhelmed by medical debt, eventually losing their life savings and homes.
Now over 40 million Americans have healthcare coverage under the ACA in 2017 with almost 500,000 in Georgia and 42,000 in District 6 alone. We must move forward to amend the ACA to reduce premiums and deductibles for individuals’ families and small businesses, negotiate drug prices, and demand transparency in medical costs.
American Health Care Act
Donald Trump’s and Paul Ryan’s repeal and replacement plan would have resulted in 24 million Americans losing their insurance over the next several years, the wealthiest of Americans receiving the largest tax breaks, and premiums doubling for 50-64 year olds due to a nearly trillion-dollar reduction in funding to Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is essential to those who lack the financial means to purchase health insurance, and it provides medical care to substance abusers, the disabled, and 70% of nursing home patients.
This law failed in the house because only 17% of Americans approved of the plan. The Republicans didn’t even have the votes to pass their own bill.
Now they want to resuscitate repeal-and-replace with a plan that would eliminate community ratings and result in astronomically high premiums and deductibles for those with pre-existing conditions and would eliminate all 10 of the essential health care benefits provided under all employer-based ACA policies and Medicaid.
10 Essential Healthcare Benefits:
Under the Affordable Care Act, there are ten important and essential benefits awarded to Americans under both individual and small group plans. These benefits are vital and necessary to keep Americans safe and healthy. They include: outpatient care, emergency room visits, hospitalization, maternity care, mental health services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventative services, and pediatric services.
I agree with millions of Georgians that these benefits are aptly named, as they are essential to Americans that want to lead affordable healthy lives. We cannot remove or defund benefits that would result in rising costs for Georgia’s children and seniors. I support keeping the ACA’s essential benefits in place and expanding the program to further reduce deductibles and premiums for millions of families.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
April 5th was Equal Pay Day for Women but women continue to make 77 cents on the dollar, compared to men. Women of color only make 63 cents on the dollar and Hispanic women only 55 cents. This is completely unacceptable!
These pay disparities occur at all levels of pay grade with qualified women constantly being passed over for promotions and hitting that hard glass ceiling over and over again. We know that women still struggle to make it to the top levels of corporations despite having the same qualifications of their male counterparts. A recent study showed that academic female physicians at public hospitals make $20,000 less than their male counterparts.
As your Congresswomen I will fight for wage transparency, as this is the only way that women can be certain that they receive equal pay for equal work.
Other women’s issues
I will support legislation to provide families with paid family leave. The United States is the only developed country without federally mandated paid maternity leave, and it needs to be expanded to cover all American families during some of the most beautiful moments of a lifetime. I will also fight for quality universal preschool and childcare that is affordable for everyday Americans. Our children are our future, and they will thrive if we give them a proper environment to learn in.
I firmly stand against President Donald J. Trump’s insulting comments about women throughout his candidacy, and will stand for all Americans. There still exist barriers that prevent women from reaching their truest potentials in this country, and I will work to make sure that every person, regardless of gender, religion, age, or race receives an equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
President Trump nominated a Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos who doesn’t support our public schools. The President’s budget proposal slashes 14% or $9 billion from education, which will devastate our public schools. Secretary DeVos has already attempted to discourage parents who have children with special needs from accessing the programs that are provided to them under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.)
The 6th District has great public schools but some are struggling. Our public school system is the core of our communities. My youngest son Gregory will graduate from Pope High School in Marietta in May and I can tell you that our teachers, counseling, and special education departments need more funding rather than less. I oppose this administration’s efforts to create a voucher system which favors only the wealthy.
I worked my way through college, medical school and moonlit during 8 additional years of medical training to pay off my own student loan debt. I personally know the difficulty of obtaining a higher education when you come from a family of limited financial resources.
We must ensure that every student has equitable access to quality education. If I am elected to Congress I will make it a priority to reduce interest rates on federal student loans, provide loan forgiveness programs to those who choose a career in public service and make certain that all students can attend college debt free.
Immigration is the fabric of America. My grandparents came to the US from Croatia in the early 20th century for the same reasons that so many others did, to find a better way of life for themselves and their children.
think we can all agree, whether we are Republicans or Democrats, that we must fix our broken immigration system by improving border security. We should enforce laws to deport violent criminals. However, spending billions of dollars to deport 11 million people and tearing hard-working nonviolent families apart is not the answer.
We turned a blind eye for decades by employing undocumented workers in our homes, factories, and farms.
I'll work across the aisle in Congress towards a compassionate pathway to legalization for those who have had lived here in peace and have contributed to our society and our economy. However, we must insist that all who enjoy the benefits of America pay their fair share of taxes.
President Trump campaigned on a border wall. However, we already signed the Secure Fence Act in 2006 but Congress never fully funded it.
Mitch McConnell estimated this 2,000 mile wall will cost $15 billion, which is clearly an underestimate, and Mexico clearly WILL NOT be funding it as the President has insisted throughout his candidacy. Do we want this administration to use our hard-earned tax dollars for this when that money would be better spent increasing patrol agents and observation devices?
It is highly irresponsible to spend $15 billion on a wall that simply won’t work, while continuing to deny healthcare to millions of Americans.
Trump’s Immigrant & Refugee Ban
I strongly oppose Presidents Trump’s efforts to ban immigrants and refugees based upon country of origin. And this ban clearly targets those of Muslim faith. There has not been one terrorist attack or terrorist plot uncovered from anyone in the 7 countries that were targeted by this president.
Our country was founded on the principle of religious freedom and separation of church and state. These attempted Muslim bans are clearly unconstitutional. The Immigration Act of 1965 states that the president may not refuse visas based upon nationality. That’s why 3 federal district courts have issued temporary restraining orders blocking Trumps Muslim ban nationwide.
The median household income in the US is $57,000 with 75% of Americans literally living paycheck to paycheck because they are paying MORE than their fair share of taxes. Those in higher income tax brackets can itemize deductions and pay a far lower percentage in taxes than those in the bottom brackets.
Some large corporations literally pay nothing in taxes despite huge corporate profits. We need tax reform based upon a smart and fair graduated income tax based upon income and dependents.
Our economy has come a long way since the recession of 2008. We've added more than 10 million private-sector jobs and had the longest run of uninterrupted job growth in American history. Unemployment has fallen to 4.7%.
Yet President Trump wants to loosen regulations on Wall Street which will result in the yet another recession The WORST THING we could now would be to allow Wall Street greed to undermine American Opportunity.
Wage stagnation has resulted in many Americans continuing to struggle. The minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in Georgia is a disgrace. No one who works full-time in America should have to raise their family in poverty. When I am in Congress I will work towards enacting a federal minimum wage of $15/hr.
Corporate taxes to 15%
I do not believe that dropping corporate taxes to 15% will result in anything other than higher corporate profits. We already tried “trickle-down economics” in the 1980’s which clearly failed as corporations just sucked those profits away and executive salaries and bonuses soared with little demonstrable improvement in employees’ salaries, benefits or profit sharing.
I believe in the second amendment, but we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those who have mental health problems. Failure to do so has resulted in multiple tragedies over and over again in our country.
We must strengthen our gun safety laws and have effective criminal, mental health, and terrorist background checks. The Orlando night club shooter had been interviewed by the FBI multiple times, yet the failure of the gun background checks system to interact with data on the no fly list ultimately resulted in the death of 49 people.
In addition, we must require state of the art child safety locks. Each year, nearly 3000 children are shot accidentally, with over 100 deaths. The loss of life of one child is one loss too many.
I believe that the 6th District needs an innovative clean energy rapid transportation system to expand and extend transportation to the north-south corridors and east and west. Currently, there is no easy way for residents to travel this way.
This project would create technologic, engineering, construction and staffing jobs along with long-term employment to maintain the system. This would reduce traffic, pollution, commute time and alleviate the constant expense to rebuild our roads.
This president promised to introduce an infrastructure bill to bring our country up 21st century standards. Acquiring Federal funding for this project would be one of my top priorities in Congress.
Border adjustment taxes
The concept of a “Border Adjustment Tax” is complex and this forum does not allow the time for full discussion of this important issue. Theoretically this should result in an increase in products and services “Made in America,” and further jumpstart our economic growth, but unpredictable changes in the value of the dollar may offset these and other benefits over the long term in addition to other unwanted consequences.
Internet access is vital to every modern industry, and especially to small businesses. A good website and high-speed internet access permit small and large businesses to compete on a level playing field.
If you eliminate net neutrality, large companies will have the advantage small ones which could have a negative effect on innovation, competition.