Hoosier Action group pushes for change in healthcare, housing, law enforcement

Politics

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier Action has a goal of sending 1,000 emails to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Attorney General Curtis Hill in the next 24 hours regarding changes in housing, healthcare and law enforcement accountability.

During a virtual press conference on Wednesday, the group gathered people from different parts of the state to discuss these topics.

“When is enough, enough?” asked Hoosier Action member Kim Thompson. “We all must do our part, and that time starts now.”

The group wants Governor Holcomb and Attorney General Hill to address housing. Shortly after the Hoosier Action press conference, the governor announced a new housing initiative.

It uses $25 million from the CARES Act to assist renters in every county except Marion because it has its own program. However, landlords get to choose whether their renters can participate. If they don’t agree, the state says you should try to explain your situation.

“And work on developing a payment plan so that those lines of communication are open,” said Jacob Sipe, executive director of Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority. “Hopefully in doing that, many of our renters will be able to engage with our landlords, and they’ll want to participate in this program.”

Aimee Lee was one of the Hoosier Action members who was impacted financially by COVID-19. She talked about her situation during the virtual press conference.

“Now because I couldn’t work due to COVID and because there is no assistance for renters, not only am I in a financially precarious situation, I’m also quite behind on my degree,” explained Lee.

Prosperity Indiana wants the state to do more for renters. Though the group is glad the governor said he plans to extend the eviction moratorium through July, Prosperity would like him to create a task force to address the ongoing housing issue.

“This would be renters themselves, it would be landlords, it would be service providers and those from the public health sector who see the connection between housing and public health in this pandemic,” said Andrew Bradley, policy director of Prosperity Indiana.

Hoosier Action wants AG Hill to stop pursing a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.

“If I didn’t have Medicare and Medicaid, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you right now,” said Kathy Thorpe during the conference as she talked about how she nearly died due to an expensive sickness.

Kate Hess Pace said some will suffer more than others without the Affordable Care Act. 

“Largely women and people of color, and then in rural areas where we have already seen hospitals closing and consolidating, people having to drive further, those medicaid dollars really keep those hospitals afloat, so we will see more hospitals closing,” said Pace.

The idea of overturning the Affordable Care Act is supported by the country’s highest office. President Donald Trump said it is to make room for something better. 

“Replace Obamacare with great healthcare at a lesser price,” said Trump. “Pre-existing conditions will be included.”

Lastly, Hoosier Action is calling on Indiana to enforce new policies to help prevent more black people getting killed by police. 

“Do you know what it feels like to have to look over your shoulder and worry about will you live or die due to the color of your skin? Most black women and men have felt that ever since they were kids. When will this change?” asked Thompson.

We aren’t sure yet if Hoosier Action met it’s goal of 1,000 emails. We plan to follow up once the 24 hours have passed.

We also will follow up with the governor and AG once they’ve received these demands. 

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