LIZ'S PLAN TO STRENGTHEN HEALTH CARE
WE NEED TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM - NOT BREAK IT
Health care is very personal for me. My dad was very sick last year, and he was fortunate to have access to life-saving treatment, paid for by Medicare. We sat by his bedside in Indianapolis for nearly a month while he was in a coma. But we didn’t have to worry about our family going bankrupt to pay for his care, because Medicare was there for him. And I didn’t have to worry about losing my job, because I was able to take paid family and medical leave.
In the United States of America, in 2017, not a single person should suffer or die because he or she cannot afford essential health care. And no one should go bankrupt or lose a home because they can't pay their medical bills. To say otherwise is cruel, selfish, and un-American. We take care of our own.
We need to move forward, not back, in the battle to expand access to affordable, quality health care. A solid majority of the American people believe that the federal government should insure, and ensure, universal health care coverage. That is why I support the Medicare for All Act of 2017. It is the only proposal on the table that will accomplish the three essential goals of universal coverage, quality care, and affordability. This legislation would gradually expand eligibility for Medicare and allow people to buy into the system during the transition to universal coverage.
Don't let anyone tell you this can't happen. It is a proposal that will bring down the cost of care, make our communities and families more secure, and make us more competitive with countries that spend much less money and get better care. In a Medicare for All program, no one will have to pay $700 for an EpiPen. Drug companies won't be able to get away with price-gouging any more, because the Medicare program can negotiate with drug companies and bring down these outrageous costs. Americans and Hoosiers deserve nothing less.
And don't let anyone tell you this isn't realistic. We can win the war for universal coverage and also fight and win the battles along the way that get us there. It’s why I will stand with senators from both parties, like Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander, to stabilize the healthcare market and defend the Affordable Care Act. We need to move forward, not back, and that's why this bipartisan deal is essential.
Medicare isn't perfect. I recently spoke with a man who told me about having to pay thousands of dollars per month for his wife's life-threatening chronic condition that Medicare will not fully cover. No one should go bankrupt paying hospital bills. We can reform Medicare to bring down the cost of care, while expanding coverage to every American.
PROTECTING WOMEN'S HEALTH
Planned Parenthood is one of America’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable heath care for both women and men. Last year alone, it provided birth control, vaccinations, lifesaving screening for cancer and HIV, testing and treatment for STDs, miscarriage management, and other vital care to 2.5 million patients across the nation – including more than fifty thousand Hoosiers at twenty-three health centers in Indiana. These services save lives.
Sixty percent of Planned Parenthood patients access care through Medicaid or other federal assistance programs. If Congress blocks Medicaid patients from seeking care at Planned Parenthood health centers, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that more than a million women will struggle to access preventive healthcare. We can’t let that happen. Another 48.5 million women across America benefit from the Affordable Care Act, which supports their access to breast exams, annual checkups, and cancer screenings. When we fight for the ACA, we fight for them.
That’s why I support Planned Parenthood. It’s why I will oppose any effort to defund it, which would take lifesaving healthcare away from women in our district and across America. Together we can make sure that every woman, in southern Indiana and across America, has access to the care that she needs.