I strongly believe in universal healthcare, every American has a right to affordable, quality healthcare. This is a large, complex issue, but there are actions we can take now that would help millions of people immediately.
- Create a public option, allowing all Americans to buy into Medicare. The political will and public opinion is there for a public option to pass immediately. The fact that we do not have a public option already is a testament to Van Taylor and Congressional Republicans’ failure as elected officials to listen to voters and work with their counterparts to fashion solutions.
- Allow Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. We need to end this giant giveaway to pharmaceutical companies, at the expense of everyday Americans. As the largest buyer of prescription drugs, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices would lower the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans. Van Taylor recently voted against HR 3, which allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
- Restore, protect, and reinforce the ACA. The ACA allowed children to stay on their parents healthcare plan until they’re 26, ended discrimination based on pre-existing conditions by insurance companies, and expanded access to healthcare for millions of Americans. It was a good start, and I would fight against any effort to repeal it. The choice is stark: Van Taylor wants to repeal existing health care protections and I want to ensure that millions remain insured.
- End surprise billing, also known as balance billing. No one should be hit with an expensive and often crippling bill after an emergency, especially while insured. In Congress, I would work to pass legislation enabling providers and insurers to work together to end surprise billing.
- Protect women’s health. I fully support a woman’s right to choose. That is a decision between her and her doctor, and the government has no place in that conversation.
- Expand access to mental health. Mental health care services are routinely and consistently overlooked. We need to increase access to mental health providers, and provide incentives for providers to go into underserved areas.
- Treat addiction as a health concern. Addiction has been tearing apart families and communities for too long. Treating drug addiction as a crime is a waste of resources and does not solve the underlying problem. We need to treat those dealing with this disease with compassion and respect, while shifting resources to rehab and treatment programs that can actually help people overcome addiction.
Those are just a few proposals that we can get done right away. The political will is there, public opinion strongly supports those ideas, but elected officials like Van Taylor are too busy playing partisan politics rather than serving their district.
Universal healthcare is an aspiration that every American should believe in because it is good for the individual and it is good for the country if people are not worried day and night about how to pay for their illness or a medical crisis. We are the wealthiest, most powerful country on the face of the planet. We should be able to ensure that everyone has affordable, quality health care.