The cost of healthcare is a critical challenge for families and small businesses, and has been one of the most hotly debated topics in Washington in recent years. Here in Arizona, healthcare is a critical issue for everyone, especially our children and seniors.
As a healthcare administrator myself, I understand how difficult it is for many families to access good quality, affordable health care. It’s something I see every day, and something I care about deeply.
It’s clear that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) isn’t perfect, but it was a positive step forward. A complete repeal, without a plan to address its shortcomings, would cause about 700,000 Arizonans to lose coverage. Most of those are seniors and children from low-income families—our most vulnerable citizens—many of whom rely on Medicaid.
Having access to healthcare you can’t afford is not access at all. Without the right protections, many families will be forced to make life and death decisions—literally, choices between living and dying—based on what they earn. No-one should have to go bankrupt because they’re sick. And no-one should have to die because they’re not rich.
I will fight to protect Arizonans’ access to quality, affordable healthcare. This includes protecting those with pre-existing conditions from the dangers of skyrocketing premiums and discrimination by insurers. It means protecting the right to basic coverage, like emergency services and maternity care. And it means providing reproductive healthcare options, especially to women.
I support some of the ideas put forward by our federal leaders, such as allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines, and negotiating more effectively with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices. These are smart, common sense ideas that will help address some of the critical issues facing our healthcare system.
At the same time, we need to do a better job of providing people with better preventive coverage. We need to equip them with knowledge they can use to make smart choices about their own health and well-being, as well as insurance options.
Targeted, common sense reforms like these will help make coverage affordable and accessible for individuals and small businesses alike. It’s all about striking a smart balance between promoting personal responsibility, and protecting those who need protection. These are American values. These are Arizona values.