As a 40-year emergency room nurse, mother of six, and the wife of a dentist, I think there is no one in this field of candidates more qualified to tackle this issue.
I believe access to quality health care is a right of every American and, working with experts here locally, I’ve been a part of the solution to significantly improve access to care for every member of our community. Are we done? No. Here are a few of my thoughts on where I think we should go based on my 40 years of experience in the field.
- The Affordable Care Act was an historic first step towards universal coverage. We need to look at all proposals to strengthen the exchanges, bring down premiums, improve access to people in all communities, and lower costs for consumers, including lowering costs on prescription drugs. I oppose efforts to cut Medicaid and the drug treatment programs that were included in the ACA.
- I will work with other health care professionals in Congress to increase the viability of the exchanges, increase access to providers, preserve the protections of the ACA in regards to pre-existing conditions and mandatory services, and bring down premiums and copays for consumers.
- There are many proposals in Congress to strengthen or supplement the ACA, including letting any American buy into Medicare or Medicaid, and there are pluses and minuses to all of them. I will look at them all with an eye towards lowering costs, increasing access, and maintaining the quality of health care.
- I support the principles of Senator Sanders’ Medicare for All Bill, and await his proposal on how we pay for this plan. Sen. Sanders admits that there hasn’t been the research and detailed study needed to offer a tax plan and method to pay for covering all services for all Americans. Those tax polices are not just an afterthought – they are integral to controlling health care costs and ensuring people are getting services greater than or equal to what they are paying. Those candidates who claim they support the Sanders plan without knowing the taxing plan is really an empty and hollow commitment.
We need a serious study of what the various taxing proposals mean to consumers at different income levels and a process that allows the input of caregivers, consumers and regulators. This is not something that could happen overnight.
But in the meantime, millions of Americans need health care today, and we need to work immediately to protect and strengthen the system we have – the Affordable Care Act.
- A lack of doctors and health care services in rural areas is a real problem. I will fight for programs that train rural providers and make it easier for young people to pursue health care careers. That provides not only health care, but jobs for our communities.