The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has underscored the need for health care coverage for every American, no longer dependent upon employment status, said Democratic congressional primary candidate Amy Kennedy.

“I don’t think we can emphasize enough how much the virus should be making us all think about how we can improve our health care system,” said the former teacher and current mental health advocate who lives in Brigantine.

She recently released her health care program, which outlines her priorities should she be elected.

Kennedy is running in a hotly contested primary against five other Democrats for the right to challenge Congressman Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, in November, campaigning through a historic pandemic that has forced candidates and constituents to stay at home.

“I want to make it clear that we can’t continue to tie health insurance to employment,” Kennedy said, citing how the recent unemployment deluge has left so many uncovered for health insurance.

“We’re going to see a lot of challenges moving forward,” she predicted, with some questioning how the country can afford to make sure every American has health insurance. “I believe as many do we can’t afford not to. We see impact takes a toll on our economy. If we don’t invest in the health care system we will need to pay for it on the back end.”

Her policy includes expansion of the Affordable Care Act, and protecting coverage promises to people with pre-existing conditions.

“President Trump and Republicans are trying to eliminate the ACA,” she said. “We should be building on it.”

Other aspects of the plan would focus on lowering drug prices, and addressing inequities in minority communities, she said.

“Atlantic City and CD 2 are incredibly diverse and have some of the worst health outcomes in the state,” Kennedy said. “We need to be able to target our funding.”

Her policy outlines ways to make sure everyone has access to high-quality health care; that systematic problems including high cost and inequitable outcomes are fixed; and the country makes investments now to prevent future crises, she said.

Contact: 609-272-7219

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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