HEALTH CARE

A:

I have long been a staunch supporter of universal health care in the United States, whether privately or publicly administered. Every industrialized Western nation has it, and so should we.  My preference would be a single-payer system. 

The Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare, is a major a step in the right direction.  I support it because it provides a way for every American to gain health insurance; it prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions; and it allows young people to remain on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.

When the ACA website went live on October 1, there were so many people trying to get information about health insurance that the servers almost crashed.  Given the fact that almost half of American families that have gone bankrupt over the last few years have done so after a serious health problem, this is not a surprise.  When President Obama came into office, 50 million Americans had no health insurance.  America is desperately in need of a better way to provide it, and this bill goes far toward that goal.  

As we know, since September of this year, there has been a fiercely waged battle in the U.S. House of Representatives between those who look forward to the bill’s implementation, and those who are willing to do anything – even shut down the government – to keep it from happening.  Indeed, there are governors around the country working to block the citizens of their states from having access to Obamacare.  This is outrageous.

As a Congresswoman, I would work closely with all those taking a passionate stand in support of the bill’s implementation.  This is just one more area where a government of the people, by the people and for the people should be acting on behalf of, and not against, the interests of the people of the United States.

MEDICARE

Medicare, first signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, is America’s way of providing health insurance to those who are 65 and older.

Medicare is one of America’s most successful programs, running relatively smoothly and, most importantly, doing the job it was intended to do. In fact, there are those – and I’m among them – who thought our universal health care coverage should basically be Medicare for all. 

Predictably, there are those in Congress who argue that Medicare is an entitlement we can no longer afford (if only they would feel that way about subsidies to oil companies, tax breaks for the very rich, and so forth). Failing America’s seniors is not the way to heal America.

In fact, if opponents of Medicare feel it’s an unwarranted expense, then they should be the first rather than the last to give the government a chance to negotiate lower prices from Big Pharma. In addition, Medicare opponents’ idea of substituting vouchers for a Medicare card places not only financial stress but also complication upon our seniors that is both unjust and unkind.

As a Congresswoman, I would be a passionate defender of Medicare as the health insurance program that our seniors deserve.

MEDICAID

Not many people from District 33 are on Medicaid, America’s health insurance program for impoverished Americans and legal residents. But as a Congresswoman, I would see it as my job to represent the conscience of this district as well as its financial interests. 

There is currently being waged in Congress a powerful campaign among some Republicans to basically rid the United States of all food stamp programs. For many of our children, our disabled, our elderly, and even members of our military, food stamps make a daily difference in their lives. The idea of stealing from the poor in order to make it easier for the rich is not, in my mind, the way to cut America’s deficit. A moral deficit is as serious as a financial one, and as a Congresswoman I will not hesitate to say so.