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Slotkin says pandemic exposed long-standing issues in the health care system

February 11, 2021
<p>East Lansing High School holds State of the District Town Hall with U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and State Rep. Julie Brixie on Feb. 21, 2020. </p>

East Lansing High School holds State of the District Town Hall with U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and State Rep. Julie Brixie on Feb. 21, 2020.

Photo by Jack Falinski | The State News

Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-8) addressed vaccinations, COVID-19 relief, economic and health security during her annual State of the District address Wednesday evening. 

Slotkin began by encouraging those who are eligible to take the vaccine now to do so. The only people who can get the vaccine are those who work in the medical field, first responders, employees of correctional facilities, k-12 teachers and people ages 65 and older. 

Meijer has partnered with the State of Michigan to help administer 25,000 vaccines by the weekend. Priority will be given to people 65 and older who preregister online at any Meijer pharmacy. 

Slotkin said that the pandemic is a security threat and much of her health security for the next year will focus on COVID-19. Congress has passed six bipartisan relief bills that expand unemployment benefits, provide government stimulus checks, loans and grants to small businesses. 

As of December, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has passed 20 economic relief programs for small businesses since the start of the pandemic. 

Slotkin also addressed the importance of accessible and affordable health care. She shared how her family struggled when her mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer but she didn’t have health care.  

“I will not take my foot off the gas when it comes to lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs," Slotkin said. "That means making sure people with preexisting conditions don't get charged more, doing something about the outrageous cost of drugs like insulin … and importantly, allowing Medicare to negotiate for drug prices."

Of the 35 bills that Slotkin introduced to Congress, 12 of them were co-led by a Republican. 

“We have to acknowledge each other and hold the door open to change our mind," Slotkin said. "We cannot pull back into separate camps and simply ignore the other side as if they weren't there."

The eighth district is politically diverse. According to USA Today, President Joe Biden won 65.2% of the vote in Ingham County, 56.4% in Oakland County and 37.9% in Livingston County. 

Slotkin was reelected to serve Michigan’s eighth district which includes Ingham, Livingston and northern Oakland Counties. She won 50% percent of the vote against Republican challenger Paul Junge in November.

Before she was elected to the House of Representatives, Slotkin was the acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. She spent most of her career working for the Central Intelligence Agency as a Middle East analyst.

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