Vickie Yates Brown Glisson talks campaign, healthcare

09/22/2018 02:33 PM

LOUISVILLE- Former Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson is laying out her platform in the race for the Third Congressional District.

Glisson is challenging Congressman John Yarmuth, who has held the seat since 2006. She says she was compelled to run after seeing Louisville fall behind cities around it.

“We always felt that Indianapolis and Nashville were our peer cities, and what grieved me is Indianapolis and Nashville have passed us by,” said Glisson. “I think we need to have someone who is truly an advocate for our city, we needed to have a voice for our city, and I just felt compelled that I wanted to come back and I wanted to roll up my sleeves and get to work and try to help Louisville.”

It’s an uphill climb for Glisson as the third congressional district, which encompasses most of Jefferson County, has been ranked as a strong Democrat district. Glisson says its about energizing the Republican base to get out and vote, but also getting the swing vote.

“There are a lot of soft Democrats, there are Independents out there. Those soft Democrats and Independents have been voting Red, they have voted the Republican ticket,” she said. “If those soft Democrats come out and continue to vote Republican like they have the past couple of campaigns. This is very winnable. I can win this.”

As former Secretary of CHFS healthcare is a major campaign issue. Glisson was leading CHFS as they formulated the controversial Medicaid 1115 Waiver. When asked how she will respond to constituents who are against the waiver and the potential loss of health coverage for thousands, she said that was the opposite intent of the waiver.

“I am very proud of the fact that I was able to work to save Medicaid. No one has been kicked off, no one has lost their health insurance and actually it was focused on being able to save Medicaid because you make an opportunity available for able-bodied individuals that if they chose to they can transition off of Medicaid.” she said.

While Glisson is passionate about healthcare, she also says she will focus on tackling the opioid epidemic.

“It was one of the saddest issues that I dealt with as the Secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services,” she said. “It becomes a public health issue, it impacted child welfare issues when I came to the cabinet we had like 8,500 children that were in states care, at the time I left we were climbing toward 10,000.”

Glisson says the way to help combat the issue is ensuring programs that are in currently in place continue to receive support and make sure Louisville receives funding available from the federal government.

Criminal justice reform is another campaign issue, particularly dealing with juvenile offenders. Glisson says a way to

“We have about 300 kids who have very severe criminal accusations against them, murder, sexual deviation, terrorist threatening. We need to figure out what to do with these kids,” said Glisson. “They either go to jail or they come into the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, but they sit and we have to pay for individuals to watch them,but they aren’t getting any help.”

Glisson said during her time as CHFS Secretary she often ran into walls while trying to create programs for youth offenders, many times due to funding. Her goal would be to secure federal funding to help create programs.

Glisson also took time to attack Congressman Yarmuth for taking money from corporate and business PAC’s, which she said he said he wouldn’t. When asked by Spectrum News about these claims, Congressman Yarmuth said he only said he wouldn’t take money from healthcare PAC’s. Glisson says that is a lie.

“The problem is he’s taken money from healthcare PAC’s, he’s taken almost $400,000 from healthcare PAC’s. So You can’t have it both ways. He said he wasn’t going to take PAC money, he’s taken $1.6 million. Now he says I’m meant I wasn’t going to take money from healthcare PAC, the research shows that he’s taken somewhere around $360,000 or $370,000 in the last 10-12 years.” she said.

When asked if she would give back money she has gotten from PAC’s, Glisson said the issue wasn’t about receiving money from PAC’s—it was about Yarmuth flipping on what he said.

After the interview, Glisson said she would return any money she has received from PAC’s—if Yarmuth did.

Congressman Yarmuth’s campaign released the following statement about the claims.

“Congressman Yarmuth pledged to never take PAC money from health insurance, pharmaceutical, and oil, gas, or coal companies—a commitment he has kept throughout every single campaign he has run. He also pledged to donate his annual Congressional salary to charity, another promise he has kept and one that has resulted in more than $1 million in donations to local Louisville charities and nonprofits.

On the legislative side, he has led efforts in Congress to get big money out of politics, supports public financing of elections, and has introduced legislation to overturn the flawed Citizens United decision, which opened the flood gates of anonymous money into our political system.”

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at


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