My mom was diagnosed with cancer five times. I am running for office because of her.
As I watched her fight cancer, I also had to watch her struggle with the outrageous prescription drug costs. After she passed, I collected piles of medical bills, bills she couldn’t afford to pay despite being insured.
As I have gone from door to door in my district, I have heard the same story again and again. Stories of families having to choose between taking medication and putting food on the table, or even deciding that they aren’t going to take the medication they desperately need—which is what my mom had to do—and suffer the consequences. There are fathers who wait too long to see a doctor for preventative care, and mothers who weigh the costs between taking their children to the emergency room, and riding out severe illnesses at home.
This is not the way things should be in one of the richest countries in the world. This is not how we should be treating American families.
Healthcare is a right––and it’s time for our government to treat it like one.
It’s time to pass Medicare for All.
Every American should be able to get the healthcare they need, regardless of income level. Right now, the average family of four will pay more than $26,000 in healthcare costs per year. Their employer will contribute $15,000 on average, leaving around $10,000 for the family to pay out of pocket. This is outrageous. Many families just can’t afford to pay this much each year in healthcare costs.
Ten percent of our healthcare costs go to prescription drugs, the prices of which continue to rise. This cost can be drastically reduced under Medicare for All, which will give us important bargaining tools to negotiate drug prices and lower them to a fair price.
Under Medicare for All, healthcare costs would no longer be a free-for-all. Right now, the cost of a certain procedure can vary wildly from one hospital to the next, or even between patients in the same hospital. There is no standardized price list for medical procedures. Americans are in the dark when it comes to healthcare.
The goal is to create a publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare system.
Medicare for All will provide more benefits to families with no out-of-pocket costs. Families will once again have a say over which doctors they want to see, and at which hospitals they want to see them. Employers will no longer be burdened with the high costs of health insurance for their employees. People with pre-existing conditions will no longer worry about their costs skyrocketing, or being boxed out of coverage entirely.
What makes the whole plan even more appealing is the cost savings for the nation. Medicare for All would drastically reduce the government’s healthcare spending. This program would reduce the nearly $3 trillion per year currently spent on healthcare to just over $1 trillion per year. Medicare for All is a more cohesive and efficient healthcare program than the one already in place, which piecemeals many different programs and benefits in an inefficient and expensive way.
The bottom line is that Medicare for All would help us achieve the goal of providing every American the healthcare they need and deserve, in an efficient way, at cost savings to our country.
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