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.
Supporting Our Rural Communities
Our rural communities are a vital part of life in North Central Florida. Danielle supports rural economic development, including bringing a jobs-creating industry to our district. Danielle knows that in today's world, small businesses cannot maximize their profits and successes without access to reliable internet, which is why she will work to expand reliable and affordable broadband internet access to our rural communities.
Universal Basic Income
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have experienced the value of a direct payment. Danielle supports a small, Universal Basic Income payment that will serve as a bridge to stability and security for the middle and working class. Danielle believes that our nation's public services have been over-regulated and defunded, and that program eligibility requirements are incredibly difficult to navigate. UBI is a more
efficient government program based on a simple income threshold that would eliminate
unnecessary and costly bureaucracy.
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. Higher education is a good investment - it increases civic engagement, boosts our economy, and decreases crime. That's why Danielle supports providing pathways for working- and middle-class families to financially afford higher education.
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.
Student loan debt has become an economic crisis: 45 million Americans currently hold the 1.7 trillion dollar student loan debt. Student loan sufferers are disproportionately people of color, those who have dropped out of college, or students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. That is why Danielle supports targeted student debt relief to those with a high proportion of student debt to income and a smaller, uniform tax subsidy to wipe a percentage of student loans off for everyone to stimulate our economy and provide relief to everyday Americans.
Federal Minimum Wage
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 fresh water springs. As an avid lover of the great outdoors, Danielle wants to ensure future generations will enjoy our breathtaking district and the rest of the natural wonders our planet has to offer. That's why she supports caring for the long-term health of our planet. In Congress, she will focus on legislation that will address environmental health and safety risks like lead pipes and polluted air and water. She will support policy efforts that will help protect Florida's beautiful coastline and other natural sites from the harm of both climate change and pollution.