What Katie Wilson Fights For
I believe that access to affordable healthcare is a human right. I also believe the biggest obstacle to affordable and effective healthcare is the power and influence of the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies. We must rein in this disturbing display of corporate interests and greed and achieve healthcare for all. In the meantime, we can provide the most coverage for the largest amount of people by providing the American public with a Medicare buy-in option on the Obamacare exchange. This can serve as the bridge to universal healthcare in America.
The North Country also faces unique challenges: We must invest in our rural hospitals and health centers to ensure they can continue to serve our communities and advocate for policies that address the quality of care and staffing crises in our region’s nursing homes. In the 12 counties that make up NY-21, there are only seven hospital beds reserved for opioid detox. I will fight for resources to address this massive need as so many of our neighbors struggle with addiction. We also have the largest veteran population in the state and not one VA hospital in the entire district. Our brave servicemen and women deserve quality, easily accessible healthcare and services close to home.
Healthcare programs like CHIP and Medicaid must be protected and reinforced in order to ensure the health and well-being of our children and seniors. Through Medicaid funding, many children, including my own, have access to speech and occupational therapies. Seniors and caretakers of elderly parents rely on Medicaid for home care services and nursing home costs.
For many young men and women, Planned Parenthood is their sole healthcare provider. I stand with Planned Parenthood and the important work they do in keeping our communities healthy through family planning services and cancer/STD screenings.
Every day we entrust the future of our children to the teachers and school leaders and yet often they have little say over earmarked funding. Those who best understand their communities and student bodies should keep local control to create the best educational opportunities for our kids.
In NY-21, we are fortunate to have incredible programs like BOCES and CV-TEC where students can pursue technical skills training and direct-entry career paths. By expanding these models of learning, we can invest in internship programs, empower our students, and allow businesses to train for positions that need to be filled. This will both create a pipeline of future employees and help keep younger people here.
Every child deserves access to well trained teachers and no child should be subject to under qualified teachers due to their socio-economic status. As public school funding follows the student if they switch schools, we must hold charter schools accountable to the same standards as our public schools to maintain the integrity of our education system.
As a small business owner, I know the economic issues we face here in the North Country intimately.
As your representative, I will work to free small businesses from the burden of paying for the expansion of healthcare as currently set up, and other hurdles so businesses can have the ability to pay employees a livable wage, advocate for increased access to micro-lending, and demand fairness of our tax code. Small businesses like my own should not be held to the same tax code as large corporations: I propose a graduated tax that takes into account scalability and size while assuring that access to micro-lending becomes a reality. It’s time to empower and value small business owners, employees, and entrepreneurs as the backbone of our local economy.
Nearly 28 percent of North Country households and businesses are without broadband. With a rapidly increasing importance of digital communications, we are not maintaining competitiveness with the rest of the state. This inhibits not only small business owners and professionals, but children and students trying to compete in the digital age.
We are in a unique time when many millennials and seasoned professionals are returning to the area with the option to work remotely. We need these people–young and old–to stay and must provide them with every function needed to support a lifestyle in this technologically driven era.
Special interest groups should not be funding our elections. We have to address the hurdles keeping so many driven and committed citizens from running for office. At a time when income inequality is approaching an all-time high, we don’t need more millionaires creating policy in America.
Call to Action on Rail Car Storage
The Adirondack Park is not a junkyard, and the residents of the North Country deserve a voice in determining how our land is treated and protected. We know Iowa Pacific intends to store 22 miles of rusting, decaying, vandalized and toxic rail cars inside the park, sitting on the banks of our rivers and in our protected wilderness. This is not a partisan issue. All across Warren and Essex counties, and beyond, community officials and residents have come together in opposition to this misuse and abuse of our environment and region.
The Surface Transportation Board recently cemented their legal authority and federal jurisdiction over the Tahawus rail line – and Iowa Pacific Holdings, the company responsible for parking thousands of dangerous disused rail cars on the 22-mile stretch of track – when it granted the company “common carrier” status in 2012. The ruling allowed Iowa Pacific to rebuild and use outdated segments of rail lines to transport WWII-era materials for refinement in New York. Now, the company intends to use this federally-granted authority to turn the Adirondack Park into a parking lot for contaminated and unsafe tanker cars that pose a health risk to both the environment and surrounding communities.
Together we can call on Elise Stefanik to break her silence and finally take action to protect her constituents.