Guest columnist: Lorna Mae Johnson | @LornaMaeJohnson
As a healthcare provider with several years of experience and co-founder of a facility designed to provide medical resources for an underserved community, I have seen first first-hand the need to expand our healthcare programs. Just the existence of a medically underserved community shows that not everyone has access to the care they need.
This is why I joined the medical field in the first place. I wanted to provide affordable options to those in need, so I set out to make it happen. The Advanced Family Care Medical Group in Los Angeles provides services in obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine and pediatric services, and counseling for teens and pregnant women. With a team of passionate medical professionals, we have been able to build a healthier community and provide medical access to those who need it most.
As passionate as I am about the valuable services my team and I are able to provide my community, I am humbled when I consider that affordable, quality healthcare should not be a charitable act, but a human right. The citizens of one of the world’s greatest nations should be able to provide all of their citizens basic, high quality health services.
I am not alone in this belief.
Hillary Clinton agrees. Similar to my story, her passion to provide healthcare for the underserved motivated her career early on, leading her to become chair of the Arkansas Rural Health Advisory Committee in 1979.
Did you know that before Obamacare there was the Health Security Act of which Hillary was appointed the chair to the President’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform? While it is often referred to “Hillarycare” by its detractors to downplay her abilities, I believe it is a reflection of Hillary’s dedication and resilience.
She has since supported legislation that would equalize access to health care facilities and insurance plans by fighting to lower the costs of prescription drugs, expanding the Affordable Care Act, defending access to reproductive health care – and so much more, including garnering recognition in her participation in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provides health care to over 8 million children. (http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2016/jul/26/bill-clinton/bill-clinton-says-hillary-clinton-helped-get-done-/)
In 2011, the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report described the United States healthcare status as suboptimal, with great inconsistency throughout the US. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the 2015 NHQADR shows that our healthcare has improved dramatically.
But our battle is not over – there is still a notable disparity in coverage and access.
We should choose the candidate who is committed to continuing President Obama’s legacy of dramatic improvement in our health care coverage, by expanding access to safe and affordable medical services to everyone in our nation.
I’ve been on the front lines providing this desperately needed access. I have seen the improvements under Obama’s Presidency, and I know he can pass the torch to our candidate, Hillary Clinton, knowing she will continue to improve our nation’s health.
We are less than a week away from Election Day, and while millions of citizens across the country (and Americans living abroad!) have already taken advantage of early voting, there are plenty more who still have time to cast their ballots. We want to harness those unheard voices, so I will post one reason #WhyHillary every day until our new president has been chosen! Check in every day as I list all the reasons Hillary should be our next President of the United States.
Lorna Mae Johnson is a successful Afro-Latin entrepreneur, business leader and real estate investor.
Appointed by President Obama to The Kennedy Center President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts; President’s National Advisory Board; President’s Advisory Committee on Health Care; she is the Honorary Consul General for Jamaica, Founder of Compassion for Teen Life (501c3), and as a health care professional, Co-Founder of the Advanced Family Care Medical Group in Los Angeles. Johnson is a Surrogate/Hillblazer/National Finance Committee member for Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton.