Affordable & quality health care for every Tennessean
The number one cause of bankruptcy in Tennessee is medical bills.
And with an infant mortality crisis that's killing mothers and babies and an opioid epidemic that's destroying our sons' and daughters' futures, we are also one of the sickest states in the country.
In rural communities that face hospital shortages, the situation is even more dire.
In other words, Tennessee's health care situation is a total mess and threatens our collective future as a state.
In a country as big and complex as the United States, it's difficult to create a single, easy way for the federal government to address all our health care issues. But there are first steps we can take to tackle our biggest problems.
I'll work with my colleagues to:
Implement a bold plan to prevent and treat addiction, assist those in recovery, and end this opioid and substance addiction crisis once and for all. I'll work with the President to increase his current $4.3 billion opioid epidemic investment and leverage the extra investment to ensure every community has a full array of prevention tools in place and everyone—not just first responders and hospitals—has access to free Naloxone, the anti-overdose drug, that can save lives in emergencies.
Invest in rural hospitals and community health care centers. The American health care system has a bias towards urban communities that's unworkable in rural Tennessee, where access to health care services is both unaffordable and inaccessible. I will work to increase grants and investments in rural healthcare centers, make telehealth appointments Medicare and Medicaid eligible, and offer tax breaks and incentives for primary and specialty care providers working in rural and underserved areas. Finally, I'll work to triple the size of the National Health Service Corps, which are the #1 healthcare providers in many areas of rural Tennessee. These investments will drive down infant mortality rates, which are disproportionately high in these rural communities without health care.
Expand Medicaid and lower the Medicare age. I'll work with Tennessee's next governor and the federal government to do whatever it takes to expand Medicaid in our state and will work in a bipartisan way to decrease the Medicare-eligible age to 50, which will save the average Tennessean thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket costs near their retirement. This will be the first step towards a single payer universal system.