"Leave No Man Behind" is my view on Healthcare

When I proudly served in the Navy during Operation Enduring Freedom, it was the highest honor to serve beside brave women and men willing to risk their lives to protect the United States of America.

At 22 years old, I learned the true meaning of “leave no man behind” and “failure is not an option.” It was my responsibility to ensure my sailors knew that I had their backs and would lay it all on the line for them regardless of their race, gender, religion, socioeconomic or political backgrounds. I made sure they were properly trained and worked through many issues our service members face every day.

As a civilian, it’s hard to believe our elected leaders willfully refuse to take care of their own, specifically the 280,000 Tennesseans living without health care coverage.

There are nearly 30,000 veterans in Tennessee who do not have health insurance, because our elected officials refuse to expand Medicaid.

Many of our officials who are on state-covered health plans, including those who represent Williamson County, appear to be more concerned about getting reelected than they are about caring for our brothers and sisters returning home from the battlefield.

In Williamson County, more than 4,000 residents who are working can’t afford health coverage.

Gov. Bill Haslam proposed the conservative Insure Tennessee plan, which had the support of the majority of Tennesseans (both Republicans and Democrats), hospitals, insurance companies, chambers of commerce and clergy. In any reasonable situation, Insure Tennessee would have passed. But because our politics are so broken, it never even came up for a vote.

The lack of leadership in our legislature is creating health care voids across our state in communities where people need help the most.

As a veteran, I am outraged that our elected leaders are putting politics over caring for our soldiers.

And as your next state representative, I am committed to fighting for health care expansion and coverage for all Tennesseans.