‘We have two crises here in this state’: Ossoff looking to unseat Perdue in Nov.

If elected, plans to tackle rural healthcare access, HBCU sustainability

‘We have two crises here in this state’: Ossoff looking to unseat Perdue in Nov.

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - U.S. Senator David Perdue faces one major challenger on the Nov. 3 ballot: investigative journalist Jon Ossoff.

The Democratic nominee told WALB that corruption has taken over Capitol Hill. His mission, Ossoff pointed out, is to root it out, forcing government to serve the people and not private interests.

Ossoff promises to tackle two major issues if he’s elected: healthcare in rural communities and the sustainability of Historical Black Colleges and Universities.

“We have two crises here in this state," Ossoff said. "First of all, an affordability crisis.”

Ossoff describes prescription medication and healthcare costs in one word: “It’s a scandal."

“It’s because the health insurance and drug companies have bought off Congress, and Congress lets them rip off our families,” Ossoff said.

If he’s elected in November, Ossoff promises to crack down on price-gouging, strengthen coverage for pre-existing conditions and expand Medicaid by adding a nonprofit public option.

“Once we solve the insurance problem, we still have an access problem. Especially in Southwest Georgia,” Ossoff said.

Ossoff points to the looming closure of the Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center in Cuthbert.

“If you’re an hour or even two hours from a hospital or from a primary care physician, that’s not good enough,” he said, calling for more physicians in rural communities and federal assistance to fund new clinics.

He added: “It’s not a mystery how we solve this problem. What’s been missing is political will.”

Ossoff said the time for change is now.

“I, over the past few months, have been meeting with leaders, administrators, facility, alumni from Georgia’s History Black Colleges and Universities,” Ossoff said.

He called on current lawmakers to take notice of HBCUs and the struggles they face in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Georgia’s HBCUs are vital, they’re underappreciated, under served and they’re under resourced," Ossoff said. “The Senate and Congress need to provide immediate relief to HBCUs as part of the next relief package.”

Ossoff said his plan promises “to deliver substantial federal resources to make tuition affordable and debt free for all H-B-C-U attendees. Think about how transformative that will be.”

In the Senate, Ossoff said he’ll use the feedback he’s gotten from schools in Georgia as a framework for legislation that will support HBCUs in the state and nationwide.

Our Gray TV bureau in Washington, D.C. scheduled multiple interviews with Sen. David Perdue, Ossoff’s only competitor on the November ballot, before airing this story. Each time, his team canceled, but tell us they are now trying to work something out for this week.

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