Here’s the Problem
Every Virginian deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare. But for decades, prescription drugs and healthcare premiums have been out of reach. When I was young, my aunt and I had to cut my grandmother’s life-saving prescriptions in half because the cost was simply too high. When I was a public defender, I saw too many lives overtaken by drug addiction and mental health issues that went untreated. As a mom, I understand the importance of high-quality healthcare – it made the difference between life and death for me when I faced medical complications after delivering my twin boys.
Now, Virginia has some of the most expensive healthcare costs in the nation, and drug companies keep profiting while everyday Virginians struggle to make ends meet.
And the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the inequalities that are staring us in the face. Black and Brown communities are suffering higher rates of infection and mortality due to disparate access to information, testing, and treatment.
My Plans as Governor
I will address the systemic health care challenges Virginians face today, and well before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. My plan calls for investments in mobile health clinics to facilitate vaccine distribution, establishes a Prescription Drug Affordability Board to ensure transparent pricing so Virginians aren’t overpaying for critical medication, and further expands Medicaid coverage.
In addition, my plan will:
- Reduce health insurance costs by building a Virginia Reinsurance Program that will lower premiums for hardworking families.
- Ensure transparency in medical pricing so that Virginians know exactly what they’ll pay for the care they need and can make informed decisions.
- Boost broadband coverage to bring telehealth visits to more Virginians.
- Additional investments in rural healthcare so Virginians can access quality care in their own community.
- Ensure Virginians of all backgrounds have equal access to health services by:
- Increasing funding for the Virginia Maternal Mortality Review Team.
- Allocating funding for doula care through Medicaid to drive down racial disparities in childbirth outcomes.
- Make Virginia medical schools more diverse by ensuring students of color have an equal shot at such a career path.
- Increasing access to culturally competent care.
My Record & Experience
No issue is more important to our Commonwealth than ensuring every single Virginian has affordable and equitable access to quality healthcare. I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impacts that come with a lack of access to affordable, accessible healthcare. I was proud to work in the legislature alongside Governor Northam to expand Medicaid to bring healthcare coverage to more than 500,000 more Virginians. And it’s why one of my top challenges as governor will be to make healthcare more affordable, more accessible, and more inclusive for Virginians.
As a Delegate, I:
- Supported the expansion of Medicaid to 500,000 newly insured Virginians.
- Advocated for a paid family and medical leave program in our Commonwealth.
- Led efforts to eliminate the 40-quarter rule, an unnecessary barrier that denies some immigrant populations from accessing basic healthcare services.
- Passed legislation to assess the feasibility of Medicaid reimbursement for doula care
- Sponsored legislation to ensure that donated breast milk is covered by all private insurance.
- Voted to ensure safer opioid dispensing practices and to provide immunity to those community members who courageously report overdoses and help citizens get the aid they need.
- Sponsored legislation asking the Department of Social Services to better track opioid usage among parents to better understand and target solutions for the foster care system.
- Led the call for comprehensive paid sick leave so our low-wage and frontline workers can get the care they need without fearing a loss of income.
- Encouraged Governor Northam to expand Spanish-language access to COVID-19 information and contact tracing.