Affordable and Accessible Health Care
I believe that we must make quality, affordable health care available for all Americans. A society in which only some receive the care they need is not a moral or productive one, in the long-term.
We must do better in this country to make healthcare costs affordable, to make sure all families have access to the care they need, and to make our health care system more efficient.
I believe we can find common ground and achieve bipartisan solutions on this issue, with the right leadership.
Here in Michigan, about half of us get our insurance from our employers, while more than a third get their insurance through the federal government – Medicaid, Medicare, DoD, or VA. And 5% of us have no insurance at all. Those of us with employer coverage are dealing with rising costs that are not sustainable due to rising premiums and higher deductibles. In fact, health spending for those of us with employer coverage has increased two times faster than wages over the last decade.
A subset of us is especially struggling. We know that those of us who are living in families where someone has a serious medical condition, are uninsured, or have lower incomes are more likely to struggle with medical bills and report putting off care because of cost. The decision not to go to the doctor or seek medical care when one really needs it—but can’t afford it—is a heart-breaking one.
In past decades, Republicans advocated that all Americans should be able to get affordable health care when they need it and were willing to support universal coverage in principle, so long as it was attained through expansions and use of private insurance.
At heart, whether Democrat or Republican, Americans share the same goals around health care for our families.
I stand for:
1. We must all have affordable coverage – including those with employer coverage – and aggressively explore and implement policies to control costs.
2. We must continue our march toward universal coverage, including for mental and behavioral health, so that the 5% of Michiganders without coverage get it, and families who are most in need can get the care they need.
3. We must move toward a system that allows a choice between private and public plans, to fully leverage the power and innovation of the private sector while holding insurance companies accountable and giving people choice.
4. We must invest in our rural communities – including those in the northern part of this district – to secure the health of all rural residents, keep rural hospitals open, and make full use of technology and telehealth.
5. We must accomplish all of this while maintaining our commitment to fiscal responsibility.