HEART, the basis of my platform for Office
Every day , I plan to speak about the next letter in the word HEART. H stands for Healthcare.
Straying away from Covid-19 for a moment, let's talk about my platform. The very first thing on my platform is Healthcare and the need to expand Medicaid in South Carolina. Though in 2018 the percentage of residents who did not have healthcare hovered at about 10% of the population. In a state of 5.1 Million citizens, that means that approximately 500,000 people did not have healthcare.
South Carolina made a deliberate choice not to expand Medicaid. So in October 2019, our deliberate choice meant that there were approximately 124,000 residents who were not covered by healthcare. THese are people who would have qualified for Medicaid had the state chosen to accept the Federal money to expand Medicaid. This is criminal.
We have some of the highest rates of infant mortality in the country and much of that is due to the deliberate denial of Medicaid to poor women of child bearing age. We need to ensure that women are healthy so that if they chose to have children, those children are born healthy as well. So, now here we are in the middle of Covid-19 with 10% of our residents not having healthcare coverage. We have no idea of what Covid will bring to the state and our neighbors, as the state has been neg;igent in testing for Covid exposure. According to DHEC, as of April 20, only 41,000 people, out of 5.1 Million were or have been tested. How can we determine our level of risk if, statistically, we have tested less than 0.8% of the population. How can the Governor decide that it is safe to reopen beaches, retail and other establishments, when we don't know where we are. Then add to this lack of testing, the fact that the Department of Defense refuses to release numbers of people tested and/or infected. South Carolina has large numbers of Armed Forces personnel living in our state, on base and off. If we can't determine their numbers, and add them to the few tests that DHEC has performed, how can we decide what is safe and what is not. We need to take a fresh look at ensuring that we expand Medicaid to allow all those residents who have lost their jobs due to Covid to have access to medical care. We need Women's Health Services, we need Senior Care and Alzheimer's Care, we need expanded pre and post natal care, we need Medical outreach to our disenfranchised populations, the poor, the children, the homeless, the LGBTQI+ community. We need a vision for health care delivery that values every resident of our state, Tommorow, we go to Education in the platform. Thank you and God Bless. If you agree with what I stand for, I ask you to consider donating to the campaign at secure.actblue.com/donate/mitch4sc118-1.