As a nation, we are stronger when our people have access to the health care they need at a price they can afford.

Access to affordable health care is critical to our ability to learn, work, care for ourselves and our families, and realize our full potential as Americans. We need to be able to take ourselves and our children to the doctor when we are sick, to get regular check-ups and necessary vaccines, and obtain the medicines we need to restore and maintain our health.

Problem: The Affordable Care Act (aka the ACA and “Obamacare”) has extended health insurance to millions who previously couldn’t afford it. But premiums are still much too high, and the Trump Administration is sabotaging some of the ACA’s key elements and driving premiums even higher.

Even with the ACA, Americans are paying twice as much for health care than people in most developed countries and have the worst outcomes in key indicators like infant mortality, life expectancy, and chronic debilitating conditions among seniors. The prices we pay for pharmaceuticals are much higher than those of other countries, and almost 20% of every health care dollar spent by Americans with private health insurance goes towards administrative costs. Millions of Americans still don’t have health insurance, and many of those who do don’t get preventive care and care for acute health problems when they need it because of high co-pays and deductibles.

Solution: We need a universal health care system. It needs to be a system that controls costs and improves outcomes. It needs to keep healthcare in the hands of private healthcare providers and take it off the shoulders of businesses, especially small businesses. It needs to be a system that enables individuals and families to consult the doctors they choose, receive preventive care that helps them stay healthy, have coverage for pregnancy, childbirth, and reproductive health services, mental health care, addiction treatment, and services that enable seniors and people with disabilities to live at home instead of in a nursing home.

I want to be your voice in Washington because I have a history of building partnerships that are required to get this done.

In order to move towards our universal health care system, as your Congresswoman, I pledge to support:

A Public Option: Allow everyone to buy into Medicare. Medicare works for our seniors and people with disabilities and is far less expensive than private insurance because it has much lower administrative costs. This option will create the competition that some lawmakers insist is needed to lower costs and increase options for individuals, families, and employers. And, it will move us towards a universal healthcare system that our country needs.

Disproportionate Share Payments: Ensure that our hospitals continue receiving the Disproportionate Share Payments that enable them to care for Medicaid-eligible patients

Medicaid: Fully fund expanded Medicaid coverage for our low-income and working families, veterans, people with disabilities, and seniors who need nursing home care

Federally-Qualified Healthcare Centers:Fully fund our federally-qualified community healthcare centers so that they can provide primary care in areas where there are few options for lower-income individuals, families, and seniors

CHIP: Fully fund the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for children in lower-income families

Drug prices: Enable Medicaid and Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices

Coverage requirements: Require that public and private health insurance plans cover addiction treatment, mental health treatment, and full reproductive health care, including pregnancy, childbirth, and birth control

Planned Parenthood: Maintain funding for Planned Parenthood, an essential health resource for women, particularly in rural areas

VA Services: Increased funding for VA services and hospitals so that veterans, especially in rural areas, don’t have to drive long distances for essential care.