Regardless of whether you're Republican, Independent, or Democrat: I don’t care about your personal politics, I care about your personal health.
I once asked a single mother from my district what keeps her up at night. Her answer: “I’m an illness away from losing my home.” Nobody should ever have to choose between paying their mortgage and their medical bills. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege for a few.
In congress, I’ll stand up to pharmaceutical companies, reign in the high cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and protect coverage for people with preexisting conditions.
Millions of uninsured Americans have received access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including 46,000 residents of CA50. While it has serious flaws, it has advanced our nation closer to the universal coverage offered by other industrialized countries.
Congress must fix the ACA, not undermine it and tear it down with nothing to replace it. We need to break through political gridlock in Washington and get on with the people’s business.
If elected, I would vote to take immediate action to (1) lower the cost of prescription drugs by having Medicare negotiate prices, (2) provide a public option to compete with the private sector based on who provides lower costs and higher quality service and (3) as a short-term solution, allow individuals ages 50-64 years old to buy into early medicare.
Pregnancy and childbirth care for women, mental health care and addiction, prescription drugs, hospitalization, emergency services, devices for people with disabilities and other essential health benefits required under ACA must be preserved.
I pledge to oppose any effort to defund the ACA, limit access to coverage, reduce essential benefits, reintroduce lifetime caps, restrict coverage for people with pre-existing conditions or reduce access for people with low incomes by raising premiums.
But even with these fixes, ACA still falls short of the mark of universal coverage and costs too much for many Americans. Medical costs continue to rise, making ACA coverage unaffordable and inaccessible for tens of millions of Americans.
TRICARE, the military’s healthcare program, and Medicare have both proven to provide more affordable care than the private insurance system does. We should learn from these successful models and expand them for everyone.
Many wounded veterans, cancer patients, and recovering opioid addicts have successfully incorporated medicinal cannabis into their treatment. In fact, studies have shown that medicinal cannabis can help heal the human brain after years of opioid abuse by reconnecting synapses and neural networks. If elected, I will support de-scheduling cannabis and fund research to examine it as a natural alternative to often lethal prescription drugs such as opioids, depressants, and amphetamines.
I believe the best way to offer every American healthcare security, while lowering the costs of care, would be a health care program known as Medicare for All.
According to Physicians for a National Health Program, 95 percent of all households would save money under Medicare for All. No more co-pays and deductibles, more free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care. It’s a win-win for patients and doctors.
Today’s costs are unjustifiably high. Americans spent $3.4 trillion on healthcare last year. Prescription drug costs today are obscene and the same surgical procedure costs thousands of dollars more at a facility across town. Expanding patient choice and free market conception by allowing people to purchase medicine from advanced countries like Canada can also drive down costs.
A Medicare for All system would set prices for medical services and prescription drugs. It could eliminate deductibles, co-pays, premiums and caps on cost-sharing. It could also promote better care, and reduce unnecessary services, through evidence-based guidelines. Removing private insurance industry profits from the system frees billions of dollars for providing healthcare to more Americans.
If elected to Congress, I would be proud to support Medicare for All.
Sick children and pregnant women should always have quality healthcare. I would vote for permanent authorization of the CHIP program on its merits.