I strongly believe that access to quality, affordable health care is a right and not a privilege, and we must take action to meet our nation’s pressing health care needs. My priorities for meaningful reform include:
- Controlling the ever-growing medical costs and health insurance premiums that account for the majority of bankruptcies
- Providing health care access to 47 million uninsured Americans, including more than 750,000 Coloradans
- Improving the failed Bush prescription drug program and strengthening Medicare through fair, simple, reliable and affordable prescription drug benefits
- Putting patients above special interests
- Establishing a universal single-payer federal program that includes preventative and catastrophic healthcare insurance for every American whether they are out of work, between jobs, young, or old
Among the various proposals being considered to ensure affordability, I support fixing the prescription drug program by doing the following:
- Putting seniors and those with disabilities ahead of special corporate interests
- Enabling the government to negotiate lower drug prices
- Preventing drug plans from increasing co-payments during the year when beneficiaries are not allowed to change plans
- Eliminating wasteful subsidies
- Investing in cutting-edge medical research
We must also expand existing programs, such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), to cover additional population groups. These programs, with their well-established claims-processing procedures and low administrative costs, are key to the long-term comprehensive reform required to benefit all Americans. I oppose the Bush administration’s proposed deductions that not only will provide the largest tax benefits to high-income individuals, who can already afford health insurance, but will also add substantially to already-massive budget deficits.
We need to transcend ideology and politics to meaningfully reshape health care to serve the needs of all families, while simultaneously strengthening the competitive advantage and securing the financial health of U.S. companies and their employees.