Expanding Healthcare Access

"We should have universal healthcare for every single person in the United States."

We should have universal healthcare for every single person in the United States. That is where we should go, and I believe the best way to get there is to keep expanding the ACA to cover more Americans with affordable health care.

 

The ACA is working for millions of Americans. Now is not the time to scrap it for another existing flawed federal program that doesn’t provide quality care and that can create a gap in coverage for people who depend on their current private coverage—not to mention straining a system to the point of collapse.

 

Part of being an empathetic lawmaker is also taking into account those Americans that do have private health insurance and are happy with it and frankly don’t want substandard Medicare. For example, I won’t mandate that, union-member who has worked hard for decades to get medical benefits for her family to give up her prescription drug, hearing, vision and dental and other benefits under lackluster Medicare—just because it sounded like an easy fix by DC politicians.  Healthcare isn’t a game. People’s lives are at stake and we must work with both sides and keep pushing for more coverage.

 

The ACA saved my life after a traumatic brain injury. It was because of the ACA Medicaid Expansion, I was able to get basic care through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) that led to my eventual diagnosis and treatment. Hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are in the same position and we must continue their care, while covering more individuals and allowing competition to bring down prices.

 

I prefer Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s “Medicare for Those Who Want It” approach. If we can extend the ACA in the 118 th Congress, force states do what Oregon did and opt for Medicaid Expansion/OHP we can immediately cover millions more Americans. Then perhaps in the 119 th Congress will be better poised to get to universal healthcare in this country finally.

 

What it comes down to is I want better than the “Medicare for All” bumper sticker. I want “Free, Quality, Healthcare for Those Who Need It and Choose It.” That’s  a T-shirt I could wear.

 

Medicare for our seniors has to still be protected and expanded to fulfill the promise of quality healthcare for the elderly. It is still falling short on that promise. I support legislative efforts to extend hearing, vison and dental benefits for all Medicare recipients.

 

ACA or Medicare, the cost of prescription drugs is outrageous, not only to each of our pocketbooks, but our entire economy and future economic success. The U.S. government should have the right to negotiate drug prices. The price gouging by Big Pharma has gone on way too long. It’s time to stop it and I will vote for Democratic packages to reduce drug prices each and every time.