Healthcare isn’t a political issue, but a matter of life and death. Most of us will enter and leave this world through the hands of healthcare professionals.
Regardless of whether you're Republican, Independent, or Democrat: I don’t care about your personal politics, I care about your personal health.
As congressman, I will stand up to the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies and prioritize patients over profits. I will stop the billions of taxpayer dollars we give to drug companies and use those funds to lower health care and prescription drug costs while protecting Medicare and Social Security.
If elected, I would vote to take immediate action to (1) lower the cost of prescription drugs by having Medicare negotiate prices and allowing Americans to purchase from advanced nations like Canada and European countries, (2) provide a Kaiser Permanente type non-profit plan and 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.
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.
The U.S. is the only developed nation on earth that doesn’t ensure all of its citizens have access to healthcare. With 18% of our economy going to healthcare every year, the U.S. pays twice as much -- $3.5 trillion dollars -- as any other country. On top of that, our healthcare results are abysmal, un-American, and unpatriotic.
I’m running because for damn sake, if you’re sick you should be able to see a doctor. If you need medicine, you should be able to afford what your doctor prescribes you.No more half steps, no more splitting pills. We need to fully solve healthcare in America once and for all.
We also need to remove the stigma from mental health and treat it with the same level of care as physical health.
In congress, I’ll stand up to pharmaceutical companies, rein in the high cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and protect people with pre-existing conditions and allow children to stay on their parents healthcare plan.
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Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance companies denied patients with pre-existing conditions. One tragic case was a woman who was denied coverage because she was a victim of domestic violence, which was considered a pre-existing condition. 30 million 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.
Preventative healthcare for women must remain covered, including mammograms, to screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care, and other services.
Congress must improve on 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.
But even with these fixes, ACA still 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, the VA 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 best practices for all patients.
Medicare today: Medicare is health care that seniors have earned after a lifetime of paying taxes. Medicare and Social Security are both earned benefits, 20 percent of seniors in California rely on Social Security for 90 percent of their expenses. That’s why I pledge to protect both Medicare and Social Security by securing funds into a “lockbox” that bars the government from raiding the earned benefits of seniors; raising the $137,000 cap to better fund Social Security; and filling the 7 million job vacancies in America today with skilled workers who will grow our tax base and add billions to Social Security.
What I support: A four year plan that allows people and employers to buy-into Medicare early in four phases. In the first year, people over the age of 50 would become eligible to buy-in to Medicare. In the second year, the buy-in option would be lowered to 45, followed by 35 in the third year, and in the final year all taxpayers would be eligible to buy-in to Medicare as their primary insurance plan, thereby eliminating the costs of private insurance premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.
What about private insurance? Like seniors who have the choice to purchase Medicare advantage and supplemental insurance, I believe people should have the choice to purchase supplemental private healthcare insurance or keep their private insurance if they have the desire and means to do so.
End result: This plan would positively impact all consumers, force the free market to adapt, and sustain Medicare for seniors over the age of 65.
What changes? Right now, a part of your paycheck each month goes to fund your future Medicare benefits upon retirement. My plan would simply give Americans access to Medicare now. In exchange for paying more into Medicare, we’d eliminate expensive premiums, co-payments and deductibles of private insurance. The net result would be less costly coverage.
According to Physicians for a National Health Program, 95 percent of all households would save money under such a program. Patients would no longer face financial barriers to care such as co-pays and deductibles, and would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.
Sick children and pregnant women should always have quality healthcare. I would vote for permanent authorization of the CHIP program on its merits.
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.