Affordable Healthcare for All
I have fought for human rights all my life, and I believe that every American has a right to affordable healthcare.
It is cruel to force families to choose between life saving treatment for their children and avoiding bankruptcy, as we did before passage of the Affordable Care Act. And there’s no reason for America to remain the only country in the world where people know – and dread – the term “pre-existing condition.”
Instead of working to improve access to health care, in his nine years in Congress Leonard Lance voted over 60 times to to strip people of their health care coverage. In 2017, he helped the cruel American Healthcare Act proceed out of committee; it tried to block people with pre-existing conditions from getting insurance, raise premiums for working families, and would have led to 500,000 people in New Jersey losing health insurance. The Republican health bill would also have meant massive cuts to our response to the opioid epidemic. Though the bill failed, the GOP Congress has continued to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, increasing health insurance premiums for New Jersey families while doing nothing to improve coverage.
We need a representative who will fight consistently to strengthen our health care system and get us to affordable, universal coverage. I will support legislation to preserve protections for preexisting conditions, to meet the government’s obligations under the ACA, so that our insurance rates don’t skyrocket, and to require Trump to fulfill his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the health care law.
At the same time, we need a comprehensive, long-term answer to our health care challenges. To that end, I will champion a Medicare Option for All. The Medicare system has worked well for seniors in America, while minimizing bureaucracy and controlling costs. If every American had the option to buy into Medicare through their employer or the individual market, with support for those who need it, the result would be more competition and lower costs, as well as a pathway to decent health care coverage for all. As of now, about one in three counties nationwide has only one insurer on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. This leads to higher premiums, instability, and plans that only cover the bare minimums required by law.
I believe that more choice is better, rather than more demands or rules. There are millions of people across this country who get their health insurance through work and would not want to give up their plans. By making Medicare a universal option we would allow people to keep plans that they like, provide an affordable alternative to people who don’t like their plans, and drive down healthcare costs overall.
I also support allowing Medicare to use its buying power to negotiate prices with drug companies. American pharmaceutical companies and American taxpayers invest tremendous resources to develop life-saving drugs, which then benefit people around the world. But something must be done to control the costs of those drugs to American families, and it is reasonable to use the power of the market to do so.
We must also continue to fund reproductive health programs, for the sake of women, men, and families. Unlike Congressman Lance, I support Planned Parenthood. It provides basic healthcare to millions of women across our country, including in New Jersey, and has contributed to historic reductions in teen pregnancies and the spread of infectious disease. If we believe that everyone should be able to choose their doctor, that must go for women in America as well. I will support funding for family planning services and oppose federal and state efforts to gag doctors and deny women and families basic care from the provider of their choice.