Affordable Healthcare & Protecting Eldercare
Expanding healthcare so that it is more affordable and accessible to families is a personal issue for Danielle. When Danielle was in high school, her younger sister was diagnosed with a chronic illness, and throughout her childhood her parents cared for her elderly grandparents, including her grandmother who battled Alzheimer’s.
Our current healthcare system exists to serve the best interests of corporations, not people. The system is designed to maximize profits at the cost of everyday Americans. A study by The Commonwealth Fund found that nearly 23% of adults in the US were unable to pay their exorbitant medical bills. We are tired of being bankrupted by prescription drug costs, administration fees, surprise medical bills, and health insurance premiums. Affordable and accessible health care must be a national priority, so medicare for all should be the goal.
An asthma inhaler costs approximately $450 in FL-03. In order to make quality medical care accessible to everyone, prescription drug costs must be reduced, while also expanding the current healthcare system to include mental health services and substance dependency programs. Anyone with pre-existing conditions should not be subject to corporate exceptions; regardless of medical history, everyone should have equal access to high-quality healthcare.
Danielle has seen firsthand how our inadequate healthcare system can exacerbate health issues for the elderly. This is why she strongly disapproves of cutting access to Medicare and supports lowering the eligibility age to 50 and adding hearing, dental, and vision coverage. Medicare benefits should also drastically cut the cost of in-home care and assisted living facilities as monthly costs for ALF are at a national average of $4,330.
Every American deserves the freedom to choose what doctors we see without corporations imposing in-network restrictions. Expanded healthcare options, including offering everyone access to a robust public option, will provide us the freedom we value as a nation.
Our healthcare system also needs to provide improved and added benefits for our veterans. This includes providing mental health treatment before, during, and after duty, including appropriate treatment for PTSD and substance dependency to address the shocking veteran suicide rates. The VA Caregivers program, which supports veterans with service-related disabilities, should be expanded to provide more robust assistance to wounded veterans.
Danielle is excited about the provisions associated with M4A. Her policy priorities for healthcare expansion include the following, which are all core tenants of M4A:
- Lowering the Medicare age
- Slashing prescription drug costs
- Including dental, vision, and hearing aids in Medicare coverage
- Ensuring that all Americans have access to a robust public option
Supporting Our Rural Communities
Our rural communities are a vital part of life in North Central Florida. Danielle supports rural economic development, including bringing jobs-creating industries to our district.
As farming technology continues to advance, the economic wellbeing of small to moderate sized farms is put in danger by farming equipment manufacturing companies. We must protect a farmer’s Right to Repair. Any rancher or farmer who owns agricultural equipment should be given the full ownership of technology and the freedom to repair at a low cost. Large corporations are holding our small to moderate farmers hostage - spending thousands of dollars, driving hours to the dealership, and waiting in queues to repair what could be easily fixed at home is not realistic. We must ensure that purchases of tools, vehicles, and machinery come with access to diagnostic software to encourage economic competition and keep our rural communities thriving.
Tech giants like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have prioritized profits over delivering an essential service to millions of citizens nationwide for too long. Danielle will work to improve access to affordable services to communities by working to encourage innovation, competition, and breaking up monopolies that have given families no other choice then to pay unfair prices.
The COVID-19 crisis, illuminated the vast inequalities for internet access in our community, whether it was students who couldn’t attend virtual school, businesses who struggled to operate online, or workers who couldn’t rely on at-home internet access to work remotely. Bringing high speed internet, cable, 5G, and telecom to low-income schools and rural American communities will rectify this digital divide. This is an investment in our communities -- keeping them competitive in the digital job and education landscape to ensure economic growth and quality of life. As we all experienced in 2020, access to the internet is imperative to keep our society from grinding to a halt. From locally owned small businesses to family farms, Danielle will make high-speed internet affordable and available to everyone.
Accessible & Affordable Higher Education
During her time working in higher education, Danielle saw firsthand how many educational opportunities are directly tied to a student’s financial situation. The United States has some of the highest college tuition rates in the world and the average has almost doubled in the last 30 years. We must work to eliminate barriers to higher education and find ways to increase financial support for lower- and middle-income families in FL-03.
Generations of Floridians have benefitted from the state-wide Florida Bright Futures program. Danielle supports developing an expanded national merit-based tuition program for public institutions. Danielle also understands the importance of expanding Pell Grants and funding for the Federal Work Study program, as she benefitted from both programs during her undergraduate career. It is not enough to provide these opportunities for traditional four-year universities, but this should also be available for anyone who attends a trade school or a community college.
In 2020, more than 60% of Floridians voted to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Floridians, and all working-class Americans, are tired of working longer hours for lower wages. This is why Danielle supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. No one who works a full-time job should be unable to put food on their table or pay their bills. Local businesses are the backbone of America. If we want to support small businesses, we need to level the playing field against big corporations like Amazon, McDonald's, and Walmart who are capable of paying their workers far more than the federal minimum wage. To do so, Danielle would support a tax subsidy or other economic incentive that supports small businesses so that they too can raise their wages while maintaining sustainable profits.
Nurturing Our Planet
Florida's 3rd district abounds with natural beauty. It is home to hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, state parks and preserves, and crystal clear freshwater springs. Generations of Floridians have lived and worked on this breathtaking land. Our children and grandchildren deserve the opportunity to enjoy this same beauty for years to come.
As an avid lover of the great outdoors, Danielle will protect the long term health of FL-03 and the rest of the natural wonders on our planet. She will support policy efforts that will help protect Florida's beautiful coastline and other natural sites from the harm of both pollution and a rapidly changing environment.
In Congress, she will focus on legislation that addresses environmental health and safety risks like lead pipes, phosphate mines, and polluted air and water. Danielle will stand against polluters who are knowingly harming our land, air, and water, which disproportionately affect communities of color. Everyone should have access to safe, clean drinking water. Protecting this water will mean conserving our abundant wetlands and protecting our springs from corporate buy-outs.
Any solutions to environmental issues must recognize this fundamental truth: our environment and our economy are inextricably linked. Embracing modernized energy initiatives will bring massive economic opportunity for the Sunshine State, especially in hard-hit rural communities. The Green New Deal operates on this framework and includes other provisions Danielle supports:
Expanding infrastructure and investment into solutions such as solar and wind, which would create jobs, reduce pollution, and build self-sustaining communities.
Pollution regulations on energy and manufacturing corporations.
Clear goals for moving our government to be powered by renewable energy.
Hawk for Congress has pledged to not accept contributions “from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”
Working to serve everyone goes hand in hand with including everyone. In order to ensure Florida’s 3rd district provides an equitable community for all, Danielle Hawk is committed to advocating, supporting, and prioritizing marginalized communities. Regardless of race, ethnicity, education, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, nationality, or origin, striving to cultivate an inclusive and respectful community is a promise that Danielle will work tirelessly to maintain. From championing civil rights, ensuring accessible high-quality health care coverage, fighting for women's rights and gender equality, to addressing systemic inequalities and delivering accountability, Danielle is dedicated to bringing real representation to FL-03.