Editor’s note: The League of Women Voters-East Central Mississippi posed the following healthcare questions to Senate District 33 candidates Jeff Tate and Bubby Johnston.
How would you improve women’s reproductive health choices in a state that is nationally ranked 50th in maternal health and is experiencing an increase in infant mortality rate? Is the quality of health care that the women in your family receive available, accessible, and affordable to all Mississippi women?
Bubby Johnston: It is a known fact that many Mississippi women are not provided the healthcare services they need. That’s why we should look at some sort of Medicaid expansion or reform to provide rural healthcare clinics with the necessary funding to take care of and treat the thousands of women who desperately need medical services. The recently proposed “Mississippi Cares” initiative is a step in the right direction to assist the estimated 300,000 residents who need and are unable to receive medical services.
The majority of women in my family, for the past 50 years, have received their healthcare through private physicians and private clinics. Their health information is kept private between patient and physician.
Women’s health decisions should be private discussions and private decisions made between the patient and healthcare provider. My family has been blessed with good jobs that provide private insurance which fortunately allowed them to obtain outstanding care by medical professionals. It is my opinion that all women and men should have access to the best medical care available.
I believe that if we want better services, we must look at ways to expand or reform the current healthcare system. Medical treatment options should be available to all Mississippians no matter their social or economic background. Mississippians are known for their generosity and taking care of those in need…and that should include Mississippi people in need of medical and mental health services. We are all in this together!