Stacey Abrams on Health Care

Democratic Gubernatorial Challenger (GA); 2020 Veepstakes contender


Disaster preparedness includes global pandemic preparation

We should press candidates on their commitment to the urgent issue of true disaster preparedness. That requires a plan to strengthen public health systems in every state and vulnerable community. To do so requires a consistent, appropriate funding stream that is not subject to ideological whims or propaganda. Our international obligations should be central to this renaissance.

In 2018, Trump effectively dismantled the Obama-era global health insurance system. The objective--to understand how viruses move beyond borders and to prepare a communications and response strategy for transitional health crises--had its genesis in the nation's multilateral engagement in the Ebola virus. Swift, worldwide action had not only accelerated treatments to countries facing infection, it slowed transmission to other nations, including the United States.

COVID-19 demands immediate response to defeat an intercontinental enemy to our health, our economies and our futures.

Source: Our Time Is Now, by Stacey Abrams, p.259-60 , Jun 9, 2020

ObamaCare navigators explain new health insurance systems

As a part of the [ObamaCare] rollout, states received generous allocations of dollars to fund the navigators, trained personnel deployed to neighborhoods to explain how to traverse the complex systems of health insurance that would now require mandatory compliance. In Georgia, the issue was particularly acute: the state had one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation. Every state participates in Medicaid, the low income health program that shares costs between the states and the federal government. Because the program is mainly run by the states, qualification differs depending on where you live. In Georgia, Medicaid does not cover childless, low income adults, regardless of their poverty level, and it only covers working parents who make less than 50% of the federal poverty level or approximately 9765 a year for a family of three in 2013. We cheered when the Affordable Care Act plans included coverage for the working poor through the Medicaid expansion program.
Source: Our Time Is Now, by Stacey Abrams, p. 46-7 , Jun 9, 2020

Increase production for coronavirus testing; expand Medicaid

I think what Congress has put in place, the investment in testing equipment and funding for our front-line workers, especially for our hospitals, is critical. I would also be encouraging states like Georgia and the other southern states and Midwestern states that have refused to expand Medicaid to do so immediately. Part of testing is making sure people trust that they can go and be tested. And right now, there is an inadequate equipment, an inadequate strategy. We should increase production.
Source: NBC Meet the Press interview for 2020 Veepstakes , Apr 26, 2020

His personal debt was from caring for father with cancer

Part of my campaign was about health care, in part because I believe in it and I believe we need it, but I also got hit because of my personal debt. My personal debt was created in part because my father has cancer. And it is expensive to help take care of an elderly gentleman with cancer. And so, I believe that the answer on health care is not a question of which plan; it's, do you have a plan and are you willing to make certain the answer and the solution is real.
Source: National Press Club Remarks: 2022 Georgia Governor election , Nov 15, 2019

Protect progress of ObamaCare, instead of lawsuits

Rather than suing to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, as Republican Attorneys General have, our leaders must protect the progress we've made and commit to expanding health care and lowering costs for everyone.

My father has battled prostate cancer for years. To help cover the costs, I found myself sinking deeper into debt--because while you can defer some payments, you can't defer cancer treatment. In this great nation, Americans are skipping blood pressure pills, forced to choose between buying medicine or paying rent. Maternal mortality rates show that mothers, especially black mothers, risk death to give birth. And in 14 states, including my home state where a majority want it, our leaders refuse to expand Medicaid, which could save rural hospitals, economies, and lives.

Source: Democratic response to 2019 State of the Union speech , Feb 5, 2019

Medicaid expansion for reduced cost & preexisting conditions

Q: President Obama hit the trail for your campaign in Georgia this week. He recently made headlines after calling Medicare-for-All a "good new idea." You have not expressed support for Medicare-for-All. Do you think President Obama is wrong?

ABRAMS: I don't think that he's wrong. I think that, as a national conversation, there certainly should be an ongoing review of what Medicare-for-All can do. But a single state cannot make that change. Georgia does not have the financial capacity to provide that type of coverage. That is a federal conversation. In Georgia, we have to do the fundamentals, including the expansion of Medicaid. That's how we provide access to health care. That's how we reduce costs. That's how we protect preexisting conditions. My focus is on how I can serve Georgia, and that means a focus on Medicaid expansion.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Nov 4, 2018

Paying for uncompensated care brings money back

Q: You want to expand Medicaid, under Obamacare. You say that would cost nearly $300 million-how will that get paid?

ABRAMS: Georgia spends about $1.75 billion per year on uncompensated care. That's health care costs. By expanding Medicaid, we can join states like Kentucky that cut that number in half. That's savings that will go directly into providing access. My plan is to put money back into the pockets of hardworking Georgians. And all of the plans I have proposed, which are detailed, specific, and have pay-fors, all of those programs can be done under our current budget in the state of Georgia. What's more important is that the economic benefit to our state is dramatic, thousands of more jobs, thousands of good-paying jobs, access to health care coverage, and improvement for our state overall.

Q: So, you're telling Georgia families that none of them are going to have to pay higher taxes with you as governor?

ABRAMS: I do not intend to raise taxes. That is not the necessity.

Source: CNN interviews for 2018 Georgia Governor race , Nov 4, 2018

Expand Medicaid; explore universal coverage

Stacey worked to sign Georgians up for the Affordable Care Act and she has fought for Medicaid expansion. As governor, Stacey will work to expand Medicaid and provide coverage for 500,000 Georgians, create 56,000 jobs, stabilize our rural counties and explore pathways to universal coverage in our state.
Source: 2018 Georgia Governor website StaceyAbrams.com , Aug 17, 2017

Let ObamaCare plans cover abortion

Legislative Summary: A BILL relating to insurance, to provide opt out of funding abortions through qualified health plans: No abortion coverage shall be provided by a qualified health plan offered within the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare], except in the case of medical emergency.

OnTheIssues Interpretation: ObamaCare requires that healthcare plans fund abortions; this state law would remove that stipulation from Georgia insurance plans offered under ObamaCare. Voting NO means abortion coverage would be required in healthcare plans.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 37-18-1 on March 18, vote #676; passed House 105-64-7 on March 18, vote #795; Rep. Stacey Abrams voted NO; signed by Gov. Deal April 21

Source: Georgia legislative voting records: SB 98 , Mar 18, 2014

Tax breaks for high deductible insurance; no aid for insured

SB383: A BILL to provide for the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt policies to promote, approve, and encourage health savings account eligible high deductible plans in Georgia; to provide for exemptions from certain unfair trade practices for certain wellness and health promotion programs, condition or disease management programs, health risk appraisal programs, and similar provisions in such plans.

Summary by the CBPP:Georgia created new tax breaks for high-deductible health plans. Almost 1.7 million Georgians--20%t of all residents under age 65--are uninsured. Almost 2/3 of them have incomes below 200% of the poverty line. Georgia's plan does not attempt to help these low-income individuals obtain insurance. Instead the plan's main target is uninsured people with incomes over $50,000.

Legislative outcome:Passed Senate 36-12-8, Vote #623 on Feb/26/08; Passed House 148-2-30, Vote #1070 on Apr/04/08; Rep. Abrams voted YES; Signed by Gov. Perdue, May/7/08.

Source: CBPP on Georgia legislative voting records: SB383 , Apr 4, 2008

Allow asbestos lawsuits before physical impairment occurs

SB182: A BILL to change provisions relating to asbestos claims and silica claims; to provide that physical impairment shall be an essential element of an asbestos claim or a silica claim; to provide for a limitations period for filing a claim.

Summary by the Mesothelioma Center: Georgia enacted a revised version of the Asbestos and Silica Litigation Reform law on May 1, 2007. Plaintiffs with asbestos-related cancers must provide evidence of physical impairment. Georgia also attempts to limit the use of information obtained from mass asbestos screenings sponsored by personal injury lawyers.

Legislative outcome: [Voting YES establishes stricter rules to file lawsuit for asbestos damage. Voting NO keeps the existing rules, allowing asbestos lawsuits before physical impairment is proven]. Passed House 156-1-23, Vote #321 on Apr/17/07; Rep. Abrams voted NO; passed Senate 36-3-17, Vote #444 on Apr/20/07; Signed by Gov. Perdue, Apr/30/07.

Source: Asbestos.com on Georgia legislative voting records: SB182 , Apr 17, 2007

Other governors on Health Care: Stacey Abrams on other issues:
GA Gubernatorial:
Andrew Hunt
Brian Kemp
Casey Cagle
David Perdue
Hunter Hill
Jason Carter
Kandiss Taylor
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Nathan Deal
Shane Hazel
Vernon Jones
GA Senatorial:
Allen Buckley
David Perdue
Derrick Grayson
Doug Collins
Ed Tarver
Jason Carter
Jim Barksdale
John Barrow
Johnny Isakson
Jon Ossoff
Kelly Loeffler
Matt Lieberman
Raphael Warnock
Shane Hazel
Ted Terry
Teresa Tomlinson
Tom Price
Valencia Stovall
Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
CA Recall:
S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
vs.Laura Smith(R)
vs.Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner(R)
vs.Radio Host Larry Elder(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.Gavin Newsom(D)
NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
vs.GOP Chair Doug Steinhardt(R)
VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
vs.CEO Glenn Youngkin(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(I)
vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)
vs.CEO Pete Snyder(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)

vs.Senator Rand Paul(? R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
vs.Bill Walker(I)
vs.Les Gara(D)
vs.Billy Toien(L)
vs.State Rep. Chris Kurka(R)
AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
vs.Chris Countryman(D)
vs.Stacy Lee George(R)
vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R)
vs.State Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier(D)
vs.Challenger Tim James(R)
AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R,withdrew Nov.2021)
vs.Ricky Dale Harrington(L)
vs.Anthony Bland(D)
AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
Mayor Marco Lopez(D)
vs.Former news anchor Kari Lake(R)
vs.Secretary of State Katie Hobbs(D)
vs.State Treasurer Kimberly Yee(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Matt Salmon(R)
vs.Steve Gaynor(R)
vs.State Rep.Aaron Lieberman(D)
vs.Jorge Rivas(R)
vs.Karrin Taylor Robson(R)
CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.State Sen. Brian Dahle(R)
CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
vs.Heidi Ganahl(R)
CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
vs.Bob Stefanowski(? R)
FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(D)
vs.Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried(D)
vs.Annette Taddeo(D)
vs.Brian Moore(G)
GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
vs.State Rep.Vernon Jones(R)
vs.2020 candidate Kandiss Taylor(R)
vs.Senator David Perdue(R)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.Marissa Kerns(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Josh Green(D)
vs.Vicky Cayetano(D)
vs.Paul Morgan(R)
vs.State Rep.Kirk Caldwell(D)
vs.U.S.Rep.Kai Kahele(D)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.Deidre DeJear(D)
vs.State Rep.Ras Smith(D)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
vs.Stephen Heidt(D)
vs.Raul Labrador(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin(R)
vs.Ammon Bundy(R)
vs.Ed Humphreys(R)
IL: Incumbent J.B. Pritzker(D)
vs.State Sen.Darren Bailey(R)
vs.Paul Schimpf(R)
vs.Jesse Sullivan(R)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
vs.Jeff Colyer(R)
vs.State Sen.Derek Schmidt(R)
vs.Chase LaPorte(R)
Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Karyn Polito(R)
vs.State Rep. Geoff Diehl(R)
vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
vs.State Sen.Sonia Chang-Diaz(D)
vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(I)
vs.A.G. Maura Healey(D)
MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
vs.State Del.Robin Ficker(R) vs.State Del.Peter Franchot(D) vs.State Del.Kelly M. Schulz(R) vs.Secretary John B. King(D) vs.Ashwani Jain(D) vs.State A.G. Doug Gansler(D) vs.County Exec. Rushern Baker(D) vs.Secretary Thomas Perez(D) vs.Wes Moore(D) vs.Dan Cox(R)
ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
vs.Chief James Craig(R)
vs.Police Chief Tudor Dixon(R)
vs.Garrett Soldano(R)
vs.John E. James(? R)
MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Jensen(R)
vs.Michelle Benson(R)
vs.Paul Gazelka(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
vs.Chuck Herbster(R)
vs.Jim Pillen(R)
vs.Brett Lindstrom(R)
vs.Carol Blood(D)
vs.State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau(R)
NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
vs.Dan Feltes(D)
vs.Karen Testerman(R)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
vs.Commissioner Jay Block(R)
vs.State Rep.Rebecca Dow(R)
vs.Mark Ronchetti(R)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(R)
vs.North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee(R)
vs.Dean Heller(R)
vs.Joe Lombardo(R)
vs.Mayor Michele Fiore(R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D,resigned)
vs.Acting Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
vs.Rob Astorino(R)
vs.Andrew Giuliani(R)
vs.US.Rep.Lee Zeldin(R)
vs.Tom Suozzi(D)
vs.Attorney General Letitia James(D)
OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Former Rep.Jim Renacci(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(D)
vs.Mayor John Cranley(D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
vs.Connie Johnson(D)
vs.Joy Hofmeister(D)
vs.Natalie Bruno(L)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
vs.Paul Romero(R)
vs.Casey Kulla(D)
vs.Kerry McQuisten(R)
vs.Tina Kotek(D)
vs.Nicholas Kristof(D)
vs.Tobias Read(D)
vs.State Rep. Christine Drazan(R)
PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(R)
vs.Commissioner Joe Gale(R)
vs.A.G.Josh Shapiro(D)
vs.William McSwain(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Melissa Hart(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Doug Mastriano(R)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
vs.Secy.Matt Brown(D)
vs.Mayor Allan Fung(R ?)
vs.Luis-Daniel Munoz(D)
vs.RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea(D)
vs.Seth Magainer(D)
vs.Helena Foulkes(D)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.US.Rep.Joe Cunningham(D)
vs.State senator Mia McLeod(D)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
vs.Speaker Steven Haugaard(R)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Carnita Atwater(D)
vs.J B Smiley(D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.Beto O`Rourke(D)
vs.Chad Prather(R)
vs.State Sen.Don Huffines(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(R)
vs.Deidre Gilbert(D)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
vs.CEO Jonathan Wichmann(R)
vs.Rebecca Kleefisch(R)
vs.State Rep. Timothy Ramthun(R)
WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
vs.Rex Rammell(R)
vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(? D)
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Page last updated: May 19, 2022