On The Issues
As large corporations move out of state, Delaware struggles to continue balancing the budget. Costs continue to increase. For example, over the last 4 years Medicaid costs have increased 20% while revenue has only increased 13%. In order for Delaware to be able to serve its citizens to provide infrastructure improvements, improve schools and take care of the most vulnerable, we should focus on 3 areas.
Prescription costs and insurance costs keep rising. There are numerous examples of greedy pharmaceutical executives that give the industry overall a bad name. But pharmaceutical costs are only part of the issue. I believe there must be more emphasis on preventive care, as it has been demonstrated as one of the best ways to keep healthcare costs down. All medical insurers should be required to provide options to cover preventive services. My background in the healthcare industry will help us control costs with innovative approaches that will give us better value for our healthcare dollars spent.
Opioid Crisis: There are many Delawareans who need help with addiction. From 2016 – 2017 Delaware had the highest increase of opioid overdoses of all 50 states (71% of states that reported). In my work with women in recovery, I have seen how important counseling, sober houses, needle exchange programs, and support for job skills are to a permanent recovery. I believe the state should invest in partnerships with non-profits to pilot solutions that have worked in other states. These are several areas that I would advocate we work on:
- Preventing opioid misuse and addiction
- Reducing overdose deaths and other harmful consequences through improved training for family members, emergency responders and law enforcement on the use of NARCAN
- Improving opioid addiction treatment; including insurance coverage for emergency coverage for immediate rehabilitation
- Improving addiction care in the criminal justice system
- Increased focus on the children that are impacted by their parent’s addiction
Crime related to addiction: Although there are not reliable statistics for how the opioid crisis has caused crime to rise, there are indications that there is a correlation between thefts, stealing purses, and ATM related crimes. I would continue to support law enforcement efforts, as well as providing alternatives for those who want to break the cycle of addiction.
Women’s Empowerment and Support for Working Families
Disparities based on gender exist across all areas of life – in business, sports, and entertainment. I believe we are all better off when women are empowered to be self-sufficient and treated fairly. Currently Delaware is one of 26 states that does not have an equal rights amendment in our constitution, based on gender. I am a supporter of the ERA and would be eager to vote for it, as it will require approval in 2 consecutive legislations.
There are still many areas for improvement in education and in supporting women. I value educational opportunities for girls and women, especially in STEM. Sexual harassment and domestic violence are areas where we still need focus. My experience on the grant committee of Delaware’s Fund for Women has shown me that there is great need and opportunities to empower women and girls with basic skills and protections. I would propose and back policies that enforce protections for women. I would also support working families’ access to services such as affordable child care and preventive healthcare.