Politicians have been failing rural Georgia for decades. Since Nathan Deal was elected governor, we’ve seen six rural hospitals close, making it the third highest state in the nation for hospital closures.
Long after most of the United States has bounced back from the Great Recession, rural Georgians are still having a difficult time finding quality jobs and rural schools are still suffering.
In Georgia, rural unemployment rates are double the rest of the state. Rural Georgia needs help. The next governor of Georgia cannot be another politician who promises change in order to get votes then continues to leave rural Georgia in the dust.
Conservative policy makers tend to lean on a very narrow set of policy tools like reducing regulations and providing special interest tax cuts. But as rural Georgians struggle to find decent-paying jobs and one rural hospital after another shutters, it’s clear that these conservative policies are failing our communities.
Stacey Abrams wants to invest in rural Georgia by expanding Medicaid. According to Abrams’ press release on her ideas to innovate in rural Georgia, “expanding Medicaid will provide accessible, quality healthcare to Georgians in every corner of the state, bring 56,000 new health care jobs to rural areas and prevent the closure of even more rural hospitals.”
In addition to bringing much-needed quality jobs to rural Georgia, expanding Medicaid will also cover the rising costs of the uninsured and help federal dollars Georgians have already paid into the system flow back into the areas of Georgia that need it most.
Abrams will put additional funding into rural education, including competitive salaries that will attract great teachers to rural Georgia. Abrams wants to bring energy and agriculture jobs to rural Georgia by incentivizing companies to set up shop in rural areas and educating future employees in those growth sectors.
Abrams also plans to expand Internet access, and child care scholarship programs that help rural Georgians afford the rising cost of child care, as well as set up new child care facilities in areas where there are very few options for working parents. Abrams also plans to offer programs specifically designed to help veterans living in rural areas get better access to jobs and healthcare.
It’s time for a governor who has real policy plans to help rural Georgia. Commit to voting in this election and commit to helping rural Georgians get the programs, access and jobs they need and deserve.