Constance believes that healthcare is the foundation of a better Tennessee.
In 2022, Tennessee ranked 43rd overall in Healthcare. Contributing to this low ranking is the lack of public health funding, the lack of access to care, the high number of uninsured, and the poor overall quality of care.
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic illustrated what Black Americans already knew– that the American healthcare system is woefully inadequate. Leaders around the world, on the continent of Africa and in countries such as Japan, quickly adopted public health measures to save thousands, if not millions of lives. Though COVID-19 is a new crisis, the health disparities highlighted by it is nothing new for Black People. As we stretch into our third year in a pandemic, with continued waves of lockdowns as new variants infect our population, it is clear that we are still woefully unprepared as a state and a nation to effectively deliver healthcare solutions to our communities.
Currently, Tennessee ranks 44th out of 50 healthcare. 38th in infant mortality, 40th for mental health, and 43rd for preventable admissions. Tennessee has 35% obesity rate, 14% diabetes rate, & ranks 42nd amongst all states in healthcare challenges. Driving that number is the health disparities that exist between Black and White Tennesseans. We must do better! Black Lives depend upon it, and Constance is committed to addressing these disparities for Every1.
So, where do we go from here? A healthier Tennessee or continue along this chaotic path? To get us from the figurative bottom of the map, health inequalities must be addressed, because when we take care of the least of us, we take care of us all!
Constance is committed to advocating for and passing legislation for the following priorities:
1. Medicare for All
A single-payer healthcare system, also known as Medicare for All. The time for debate around this measure has long since passed. It is clear that we need to overhaul the health insurance industry to ensure that all Americans are able to afford healthcare. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.
2. Community-based health centers
Advocating for and finding federal dollars to erect and fund community-based health centers in underserved Tennessee communities. Constance believes that healthcare must be accessible to all Tennesseans. Healthcare access includes but is not limited to: mental health access and affordable prescription drugs.
Constance is committed to ensuring not only funding for the centers but also for community-based health initiatives that recognize that:
Racism in medicine/the healthcare industry is a leading cause of health disparities;
The initiatives and interventions related to the initiatives must be developed by the racial and ethnic groups/population experiencing the health disparity;
The research conducted with the federal funds must be done by or in partnership with community members while providing just compensation for those community members.
3. Maternal and infant health
The maternal and infant health of Black families is a major concern to Constance. Tennessee maternal mortality rate for Black women is the 8th highest in nation. Constance will consult with culturally competent experts to advise her on how to best address this healthcare crisis.
4. Prescription drug cost
The average retail price for insulin rose 54% from 2014 to 2019. From January 2020 to October 2021, those prices have decreased only about 5%. 18 million Americans can’t afford needed medications. The pharmaceutical industry is out of control and needs to be reined in from its unacceptable price gouging.
Constance is additionally committed to:
Funding HBCU programs to increase the number of Black doctors who are better able to communicate and understand what Black mothers are going through;
Advocating for a standard of care akin to the Great Britain model that ensures every mother, regardless of her race, receives the same procedures and level of care.
Constance stands with:
Supporting the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) to begin the process of curbing outrageous prescription drug prices;
Rejecting lobbying overtures from pharmaceutical companies so that she can remain dedicated to serving everyday Tennesseans.
No Medical/Food Deserts
Baby Box Program