Self-described Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hanger has released his policy agenda for women, which includes initiatives to expand healthcare, close the wage gap, legalize same-sex marriage, and protect women from domestic and sexual violence.
Hanger’s 14-point agenda is ambitious, and he said that is by design.
“You have to be bold,” said Hanger. “If you’re not being bold and progressive, forward thinking, you’re not going to tackle these very real problems.”
Hanger said one of his top priorities is to affirm women’s right to reproductive choice.
“If you can’t control your own body, you’re not going to be able to make good decisions for yourself and your family,” said Hanger.
Hanger also wants to ensure that every woman in Pennsylvania has access to healthcare, stating that 11% of non-elderly women in the state currently do not have health insurance.
If elected governor, Hanger said he will expand Medicaid and work to establish universal single-payer healthcare.
“We’re spending 25 cents of every dollar in healthcare for paperwork and bureaucracy,” said Hanger. “We can in fact improve healthcare and lower costs by attacking that bureaucracy and paperwork. That’s what a public option or single-payer system would do.”
The former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said he thinks the most difficult task will be closing the wage gap that continues to exist between men and women. The Center for American Progress report found that Pennsylvania women make $0.76 for every dollar that men make.
“We’ve been working for a long time to eliminate the wage gap between men and women who do the same work, and it’s proven to be a really resistant problem,” said Hanger.
Hanger said, if elected, he would look to both the political establishment and grassroots organizers for help enacting his agenda for women.
“[Success] involves both marshaling the insiders but also mobilizing the people around Pennsylvania who want change, and giving them a very clear pathway with a clear goal for achieving change,” said Hanger.
According to a May poll by Public Policy Polling, 41% of voters said they would vote for John Hanger if he clinched the Democratic candidacy. Just 34% said they would vote for Gov. Corbett, and 25% said they were undecided.
The same poll found that just 8% of voters had a favorable opinion of hanger, while 23% had an unfavorable opinion and 63% were undecided.