LEXINGTON, Ky. –U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath held a live virtual town hall on Thursday where she answered Kentuckians’ questions on issues such as our aging infrastructure, health care, corruption in Washington, and the state’s new election procedures.
“Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, I had been traveling the state listening to your concerns about things like prescription drug prices and bringing good jobs to Kentucky,” said McGrath. “Even though I can’t be with you all in person right now, it is so important to continue those conversations, and this tele-town hall is one way to do that.”
Elaine, from Berea, said that now more than ever, it’s clear that health care is needed for everyone and asked McGrath about her plan to provide health care coverage for all citizens.
McGrath said she supports providing a public health insurance option for all Americans that is not tied to employment, to both give Kentuckians more options and drive down costs by forcing private insurers to compete with Uncle Sam. She also emphasized the need for Congress to cap increases on health insurance premiums as they are expected to rise by as much as 40% next year because of the costs of treating coronavirus patients.
Anthony, from Summer Shade, said many rural areas in Kentucky are in need of new sewer systems as well as repairs and upgrades to existing ones, and that his community often gets left out of grants and programs to address this issue.
McGrath said it is “unacceptable” that some parts of rural Kentucky rely on 80-year-old sewage systems, and in Martin County, there are Kentuckians who don’t have reliable access to clean water.
“We have got to have meaningful, purposeful investment in our aging infrastructure,” she said. “If we don’t we will struggle to keep up with the rest of the country. … The money is there. We can do this as a country; we’ve done it before. We just need someone in Washington who will be there to fight for Kentucky and the best interests of the country.”
McGrath also said it is vital for us to invest in 21st century infrastructure like broadband. Kentucky’s internet speeds are nearly the slowest in the nation. Up to 80% of some rural residents—like those in Hancock and Lyon counties—do not have access to a single broadband provider. This lack of high-speed internet or no internet at all has left rural Kentuckians with significant barriers to economic development, education, and higher overall quality of life.
The tele-town hall is part of the McGrath’s campaign’s efforts to stay connected to voters while social distancing. In addition to the town hall, McGrath has been holding virtual meetings with constituency groups and regional councils and has started a podcast, On Duty with Amy McGrath, which features conversations with Kentuckians on the COVID-19 response, the opioid epidemic, domestic violence, prescription drug prices and more.