Rep. Deborah Ross On Lessons Learned from COVID-19

July 20, 2021

Congresswoman Deborah Ross (D-NC) recently joined a virtual roundtable conversation hosted by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina and Better Care America to discuss opportunities to address social determinants of health and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. Ross opened the conversation by stressing her commitment to working with Congressional leaders to expand subsidies for affordable health care – helping thousands of people get enrolled for the first time and reducing their premiums. She noted that one silver lining that came out of the pandemic is the wider adoption of telehealth: “We embrace this technology to reach other people. I’ve had a recent conversation about how we need to use it more for mental health clarity.“

Kathryn Millican, Director of Congressional Relations and Public Policy Development at BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, detailed the company’s work to help people think of health care in a more holistic way. “It’s about how we take that one box of healthy food and expand it out to making healthy choices, adopting a healthier lifestyle, and providing those pots and pans to make it a reality.” In addition, she shared how BlueCross is looking to increase dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drug benefits among their ACA population.

Tiffany Gladney and Kaylan Szafranski of NC Child, a statewide non-profit focused on children’s health, thanked Congresswoman Ross for her leadership and assistance in improving access to health care for North Carolinians. They discussed NC Child’s partnership with BlueCross on a variety of issues that impact pediatric health, including lead mitigation work and pregnancy accommodations.

Dr. Catherine Sevier, North Carolina State President of AARP, stressed the importance of prioritizing financial assistance for unpaid caregivers helping loved ones. She also highlighted the need to ensure that North Carolinians dealing with long-term symptoms of COVID-19 have access to affordable care.
The roundtable concluded with Rep. Ross thanking all the participants for the insightful dialogue on ways to improve access to health care among North Carolinians.

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