What role can Austin play to improve access to affordable healthcare?

Danielle Skidmore

City Council, District 9

I unequivocally support health care for all. We already have single payer care options, such as Medicare and Medicaid—but they should be expanded. My son Peter, has significant disabilities that make him virtually uninsurable under private health insurance. His tenuous insurance situation directly affected our family’s employment choices, and ability to even consider changing jobs. After years on a waiting list, he finally was able to access care through the CLASS program within Medicaid. His shift to receive CLASS, which is single payer, showed our family firsthand how much more efficient this system of health care is for both patients and for society at large. This same benefit should be extended, to provide access to sufficient and comprehensive healthcare for all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status, ability, etc. While the City of Austin’s directly involvement in making this a reality is limited, with a platform as Council Member I could absolutely participate in Central Health conversations and advocate alongside friends of mine such as Julie Oliver who would be working on this issue at the Congressional level and elsewhere with more potential for direct influence in this regard. When the state and federal governments fail us, it’s up to cities to advocate for our needs.