In Northern New York, Healthcare Drives Our Economy

Healthcare is a critical component of Northern New York’s economy. Not only do health and human service providers employ thousands of NY21 residents, but these organizations also strive to improve the quality of life and well-being of all residents. In recent years, our healthcare system has suffered setbacks with the destabilization of insurance markets and Congress’ latest attempt to cut crucial lines of federal funding. Tedra Cobb is committed to investing in our population’s physical and mental health and supporting the transformation of the healthcare delivery system to build a foundation for a healthier, thriving future regional economy.

Tedra has traveled throughout Northern New York and heard countless stories of health care desperately needed and denied, grossly unaffordable health care, and dropped coverage after employment change or loss. In her personal experiences caring for her children and ailing parents, Tedra came to understand the emotional tolls associated with navigating a complicated health system designed to encourage profit over care. Tedra is committed to collaborating with local hospitals and medical experts to find solutions that work for her constituents and the region’s economy. She will never ignore the concerns of her constituents or the expertise of local hospital and medical professionals for personal or political gain.

Tedra supports policies that invest in the health and well-being of every citizen and business in the district. By advocating for all people to have health insurance, she will fight for residents to have affordable access to the care they need to live healthier, happier lives. By supporting portable coverage that stays with the insured and is not tied to one’s employment, she will advocate for a system in which regional businesses will no longer be saddled with the prohibitive costs of insuring their employees. And aspiring entrepreneurs will be free to leave jobs and establish their own businesses without concern over loss or gaps in coverage.

Tedra also supports policy that changes the way health services are delivered and paid for. She advocates for a shift from a system of care that rewards volume to one that rewards value, which would benefit all of northern New York. By paying providers to keep their patients healthy (rather than to treat them when they are sick), residents would have increased access to preventative care that promotes good health across our region. The healthier our population, the less we will spend as a region on health care and the more resources we will have to invest in our future.

It is critically important that regional health care providers are successful. In order to survive current changes in legislation and healthcare needs, provider systems in rural communities like ours need additional support:

  • Medicaid reimbursement rates must be improved.
  • More resources are needed to address the growing opioid epidemic.
  • Funding is needed to support workforce recruitment and retention initiatives.
  • The infrastructure and reimbursement needed to fully take advantage of telehealth technology must be developed.

Tedra has direct experience working in the healthcare system. In her founding role with the St. Lawrence Health Initiative, Tedra secured federal and state funding to provide preventative screening and follow-up care to hundreds of hard-working North Country residents who could not afford health insurance. As a member of the North Country Health Systems Redesign Commission, Tedra contributed to the development of a report that recommended “building capacity and promoting value in the North Country” to address the unique challenges faced by our rural healthcare system. Tedra will put her knowledge and experience to work for us in Washington to build a healthcare system that works for patients, providers, and Northern New York’s economy.

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