The United States spends far more on healthcare than the other 10 high-income countries in the world, and while our healthcare costs continue to rise, our healthcare outcomes place us dead last among them1. What we are doing is NOT working. Healthcare needs to be high-quality, affordable, and available to all Michiganders and Americans, not just those wealthy enough to afford it. What's more, our outcomes must improve! We already have a successful foundation in place with our existing Medicare model which should be expanded to cover all Americans.
We must invest in our society in a way that brings about compassion and hope. The leading cause of personal bankruptcies in this country is escalating medical bills2. At the same time, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. dies by suicide. An estimated 54 million Americans suffer from some form of mental disorder in a given year3. As a fierce advocate for strengthening mental health support, Jeanette is relentless in her pursuit for mental health parity as well. We need someone to fight for the right of our people, our Veterans, our children—to live healthy productive lives. Her commitment to quality care, affordable cost, and equal access to resources is the voice that we need representing Ottawa County in Lansing.
Quality Public Education
A quality education is a critical contribution to our children's lives and should be considered a basic necessity. A strong education is what enables children to transition into successful adults who contribute to our economy and society at large. Today, Michigan lags behind more than half of the states in the U.S. in Education coming in 36th out of 50 in the U.S. News Best States for Education ranking4. Strong support for our schools and our teachers is an investment in the future of our children, state, nation, and world. Quality public education from Pre-K through Higher Ed is a priority for Jeanette and the people of West Michigan.
In America, we are nearly all immigrants. Our families came to America out of fear and hope. They came to start businesses, buy goods and services, pay taxes—without receiving benefits—work hard, and strengthen our economy. When immigrants are turned away at our boarders, Michigan suffers. In a state that's experiencing employee deficits and trying to maintain a large agriculture economy, immigrants are important to our success. That's why Jeanette wants to expand the number of Federal work Visas available to our state. She also supports drivers licenses for all Michiganders to help keep our immigrant communities working. Most importantly, Jeanette supports a path to citizenship for our DACA recipients and the law-abiding immigrants who aspire to the American Dream that all of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents aspired to.
A Living Wage
When someone is working 40 + hours a week and still can't support themselves or their family, we have a situation that endangers our families, our economy, and our social support structure. The Income Inequality in our country is the worst it's ever been and the gap is set to widen since the recent Republican Tax Give-away to corporations and the wealthy. Jeanette supports an increase in the minimum wage and believes that large corporations and the most wealthy need to pay their fair share, taking the burden off the backs of small businesses and the middle class.
Protecting our Great Lakes & Natural Resources
Our waterways and natural environments are a formative part of who we are as Michiganders. Our rivers and lakeshore contribute to our quality of life as well as our economy. The Republican push for loosening of environmental protections threaten our very way of life. From shutting down the Enbridge Line 5 to protecting our waters from invasive species and corporate greed, Jeanette is dedicated to make our great lakes and natural resources a major priority.
Our roads, rail, and aviation systems get us to and from work, are a means to deliver our goods and services, and are the means to bring tourists to our area—their maintenance is critical to the growth of our economy. The Michigan branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers has given our state a D+ overall, which signifies worse than average5. Not only does this put our economy in danger, it puts us in danger. We need a commitment from Lansing and Washington to bring our infrastructure back into the 21st Century where we all belong.
1 http://www.commonwealthfund.org/interactives/2017/july/mirror-mirror/, 2 https://www.thebalance.com/medical-bankruptcy-statistics-4154729, 3 http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/, 4 https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/education, 5 http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-infrastructure-falling-apart