HEALTHCARE AND INSURANCE 

The young man works 2 part-time jobs. He lives independently. He recently injured himself, and had stitches and a tetanus shot at the fast track emergency center. When he registered at the facility, he produced his insurance card.

This young man pays monthly premiums for enrollment in the HIP Plus---Healthy Indiana Plan. He is proud that he is insured. This is how health care should work. Everyone wins. The young man received care for his injury. His tetanus shot will prevent a potential serious complication. The facility gets reimbursed. Emergency rooms cannot turn away a patient with a serious injury. And while reimbursement from the HIP program may not be as high as an employer-sponsored plan, it is certainly better than nothing. And that is what our emergency rooms will most likely get if our residents aren’t insured—nothing.

Once elected, I will work to engage all partners. Local hospitals and outpatient facilities, physician offices, nurses and advanced nurse practitioners, and other health care providers all have important roles in the prevention of illness and treatment of disease. Individuals should be treated as stakeholders, and assume some responsibility for their own health. So let’s keep health care, and the means to pay for it, within reach of everyone in our state.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

The opioid crisis has impacted families of all backgrounds and incomes. Leaders in Clark County have addressed this issue head-on, and are seeing progress. Much credit goes to the individuals and institutions who brought this issue to the forefront, and made tough decisions and policies. Past and current health county officers, emergency personnel, first responders, members of Clark County Cares, and others have made saving lives a priority. The needle exchange program has been expanded. Heroin-related emergency room visits are down, and the number of overdose significantly decreased. More resources, including short- and long-term treatment facilities, have been made available to patients with opioid issues.

Let’s keep the momentum going:

  • Be sure funding for research, prevention, and treatment remains a priority.
  • Encourage patients and providers to consider nonnarcotic means of controlling pain.
  • Address drug dependence before it begins—in the middle and high school classrooms.

 

WORKFORCE

At a basketball game recently, high school seniors were honored at half time, and their future plans announced. One young lady was awarded a scholarship to play basketball at a small college. Another, accepted to the University of Louisville, plans to teach math in an inner-city school. (Full disclosure—that’s my granddaughter!) One senior will be starting his HVAC apprenticeship after graduation. All are winners!

Graduating from college is a wonderful accomplishment. But it’s not for everyone. A young man or woman could have a rewarding career as a plumber or iron worker, both high demand jobs. My Dad was an electrician and provided for our family of 9 children on his income. We need to ensure that all possibilities are available to our workforce of the future. Our schools should provide college prep courses as well as the means to acquire knowledge and skills applicable to jobs in manufacturing and much needed technical services.

Let’s provide workforce placement assistance for all in our community, including:

  • Military veterans looking for civilian jobs
  • Senior citizens aren’t ready for full retirement
  • Previously incarcerated individuals who are working toward a new future.

BUSINESS

As a member of the Planning Commission and Zoning Boards, I have helped to approve applications for newly built manufacturing and distribution centers. I am grateful for the many employment positions. Let’s keep in mind that all businesses should be accountable to their workers and the public in general. Offer a decent living wage. Look at the reasonable housing prices in this community, and encourage your employees to live here. Realize the costs of owning an automobile may be out of reach for your newest employees, and reward those who car pool, or consider providing free TARC passes. Encourage your HR Department to truly engage with workers. Assist with housing and childcare—retention of employees is more cost effective than having to train a new worker. Look at best business practices at companies where worker satisfaction is high. And be mindful of your impact on our community and our environment. Let’s keep building, but built smart.

I shop at and support small businesses. I hire local contractors. Let’s keep our unique Southern Indiana businesses, and welcome new ones, with innovative financing options. Remember that a greater percent of money spent at locally-owned businesses stays here.