When you or a loved one are faced with a medical emergency, you can’t afford to think about costs. One of my sons was diagnosed with a serious illness as a child, and eight years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. Without the life-saving treatment we received – and insurance that covered that treatment – neither of us would be here today.
My story is hardly unique. We all face health challenges. Access to healthcare should be a right, not a benefit that is dependent on how much money you earn or where you work – yet for too many people, this is still the reality.
Two years ago, Bernie Sanders kicked off a movement with his call for “Medicare for All”. Now, it’s up to Congress to make quality healthcare a reality for every American regardless of their income, race, or medical history by reducing the eligibility age for Medicare, expanding the system to more people.
Even after the Affordable Care Act passed, thousands of Granite Staters still can’t afford health insurance. Nationwide, the U.S. spends more on healthcare per person and as a percentage of our economy than any other advanced country in the world. But all that money has not made Americans healthier.
Healthcare premiums continue to increase, and the opioid crisis wreaks havoc on our communities. This isn’t due to the Affordable Care Act, but to a fractured system of healthcare providers, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical executives who would rather see doctors spending their time on paperwork rather than patients.
Pharmaceutical companies have put profit over people for far too long. Prescription drugs need to be accessible for all Americans, and when I am in Congress I will fight to lower drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices, just like the VA. In many cases taxpayer dollars are used to develop drugs that are then acquired by private companies who charge exorbitant prices – as your Representative, I will take on Big-Pharma and demand that taxpayer-subsidized drugs be affordable for all Americans.
This is about more than fixing the current system. We need to think of the long-term benefits of taking back our healthcare system. Under a single-payer system, we can rein in pharmaceutical costs, eradicate the billions of dollars flowing to health insurance companies (who pocket at least a fifth of our money for “administrative” costs), and ensure effective preventative care that reduces the average Granite Stater’s lifetime cost of care.
Americans deserve a health care system which is available and affordable to all. ‘Medicare for all’ is a step in the right direction.