Education has been an integral part of my life. From grammar school through graduate school, I have developed a deep affinity for the educators who have molded my career. Yet, this appreciation began within my family unit. I was directly influenced by my paternal grandparents who were both school teachers. Both of them took pride in the profession of teaching as it allowed them to shape the minds of young people. However, being an educator in the 21st century has a different landscape than previous years. School teachers have to deal with many psycho-social issues such as cyber-bullying and child suicide. Furthermore, the threat of gun violence has become an occupational hazard as well. Budget cuts to education coupled with poor teacher pay has made it difficult to pursue a career in education. As a result, our children, the future of this nation, will be denied a quality education.
If elected as your Georgia House District 49 Representative, I promise to advocate for our educators. This profession needs better in-classroom and administrative support to help assist students navigate the tribulations of life. The assignment of in-school clinical social workers can help address student’s mental health issues. Also, I would advocate for anti-bulling campaigns, strengthen gun-free school zone policy and improve security on school campuses. This would allow educators and administrators to operate in a violence free environment. Finally, I would support provisions to increase funding to the Georgia Department of Education. This would improve teacher’s salaries, improve healthcare benefits and retirement pension. In this manner, we can recruit and retain talented educators who want to make a positive impact on young people’s lives.
Providing for the best interest of patients is the core philosophy of my medical practice. As a former National Health Service Corp physician, I understand how access to quality and affordable healthcare is critical to our most vulnerable patient populations.
In 2018, Georgia ranked as the 3rd worst state in the Union with 1.4 million uninsured residents.1 Over the next decade, the state of Georgia will lose 45.5 billion dollars of federal funding by not accepting ACA Medicaid Expansion.2 This decision, by our current administration, to NOT accept Medicaid Expansion will negatively affect Georgia residents who need access to healthcare. Also, this decision will financially harm hospitals that provide care to our most vulnerable patients.
By expanding Medicaid, Georgia would be able to offer an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 residents health insurance.2 This would make a positive impact on the health of eligible Georgia residents especially children, the mentally ill, the physically disabled and older patients who are not eligible for Medicare.
Furthermore, ACA Medicaid Expansion would have a positive impact on small businesses. As small business owner, I understand the complexities of operating a business which includes providing employee benefits. By expanding Georgia Medicaid, small business owners and their employees would have access to affordable healthcare. This would provide support to small businesses while they remain competitive in the marketplace.
If I am elected as Representative of Georgia House District 49, I would not only be in favor of Georgia Medicaid expansion but focus on the delivery of this healthcare. I would push Georgia Medicaid Expansion to include the recruitment and retention of quality physicians and mid-levels to provide care for the new influx of patients. With the support of the Department of Health and Human Services, I would advocate for the construction of community health centers in designated medically underserved areas in Georgia. In this manner, patients can receive quality primary and preventive care from recruited medical personnel. Next, I would propose the use of federal funds to aid smaller physician practices who are susceptible to marketplace fluctuations. These payments would incentivize these practices to provide care to Medicaid patients. Finally, I would push to earmark federal funds for hospitals that provide care to vulnerable patients. As a result, these institutions will remain a viable option for people in medical need.
1“Georgia Adds 36,000 to Uninsured Rolls, Ranks 3rd Worst in US”, Hart, Ariel, 2019, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 09.10.2019
2“Georgia and the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion”, Norris, Louise, 2019, Healthinsurance.org, 11.04.2019
SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCACYSmall business ownership can be an extraordinary experience. When consumers support your business, entrepreneurs gain confidence in their venture which can lead to profitability and growth. Furthermore, employment opportunities can be created which has a positive impact on the local community. However, small business ownership has its challenges. With fixed and variable costs, employment taxes, many small businesses can fail without the sustainable revenue and support. As a small business owner, I understand these complexities. As your next Georgia House District 49 Representative, I plan to support small businesses in the following:
- Advocate for small business tax breaks
- Propose a small business fund for small businesses in need
- Advocate for Georgia Medicaid Expansion to cover small business owners and employees with affordable health insurance
- Support programs, like Score, that provide tuition free mentorship
- Advocate for more express lanes
- Encourage the development of high-speed rail
- Push to incentivize businesses who allow employees to work from home
- Start dialogue about the adoption of an optional four-day 10-hour work week