The health and wellbeing of the people in Washington County will ensure that the opportunities presented in life can be accepted by each and every person with open arms. Lack of health insurance—a situation affecting 8,000 working Tennesseans in Washington County alone—means being riddled with debt, the threat of foreclosure, an inability to afford medication, and a downward spiral of worsening medical conditions. Access to health insurance and health care is number one on my priority list. Expanding Medicaid, through passage of Insure Tennessee, would boost the State’s economy by $1.4 billion per year, create 20,000 jobs, and not cost Tennesseans a penny. Insure Tennessee would give 280,000 Tennesseans access to the care they so desperately need, including 24,000 veterans—men and women who have paid into the system with their blood, sweat, and tears, and who are only asking for what their country and their state owes them. Access to health insurance would enable more healthy Tennesseans to enter the workforce, give them the opportunity to increase their earnings and step off of government assistance, and share their innovative and creative ideas to not only better our region, but make our nation more competitive in a global market.