Dr. Mary Headrick

Dr. Mary Headrick

May 20th, 2012 in Opinion Times

Dr. Mary Headrick is running in the Democratic primary to be the candidate for Tennessee's 3rd congressional district.

Dr. Headrick's commitment to medicine and quality health care doesn't end with her office practice: she takes it into the field as both a volunteer physician and as an advocate for health care reform and the principles of affordable universal care. She advocates a non-profit framework for universal health care which would plow vast savings from administrative overhead and insurance-industry processes into actual care-giving and preventive care. The result would simultaneously improve all citizens' health and dramatically lower the nation's staggering health care costs.

That tracks with results in every other advanced industrialized nation in the world. They all provide quality universal care and better health care indices for all their citizens, at half-to-two-thirds of U.S. costs, as a percentage of national gross domestic product.

Among Dr. Headrick's other goals are tax fairness and job creation at home, and curbs on the commerce and tax policies that give incentives for corporations and ultra-rich CEOs to off-shore their jobs.

Dr. Headrick comes prepared for in-depth discussions on the vital statistics of the counties in the 3rd congressional district. She studies, for instance, the numbers of family-wage jobs, average family incomes, educational achievement, and the indices of hardship for so many ordinary families. Her discussions there revolve around the reversible outcomes that are measured in such figures as 85.4 percent of students in Hamilton County qualifying for free-and-reduced price school lunches; lagging high school graduation rates (85 percent) and the low community average of college graduates (26.9 percent); rates for teen pregnancies and food stamp use, and rising and falling job sectors -- and how to improve job creation and tax equity.

She advocates national policies that generate living-wage jobs, better health care and quality of life, and the general prosperity that would both reduce federal debt and reinforce the nation's long term capacity for employment, leadership, innovation and principled national goals. We haven't heard any of that presented, in learned detail or with convincing passion, from her Republican counterparts.