I was working for a Medicaid managed care company in Chicago when I found myself at my opponent’s one and only public event of 2017. During that spring, the Congress took a series of healthcare repeal votes. I was watching the debate closely as a healthcare professional and a woman who was concerned about her own healthcare coverage. During that springtime public event more than a year ago, my opponent made a promise. He promised that he wouldn’t support a bill that didn’t provide affordable coverage options for people with pre-existing conditions. That promise was important to me, and I took him at his word.
Just a few weeks later, he cast one of the deciding votes for the American Healthcare Act, a version of repeal that would have made care unaffordable for those of us with pre-existing conditions.
I was very upset. Not only had he cast a vote that would harm his constituents, but he had broken his word. And I’m not willing to accept that. This community deserves better.
A representative should be transparent and honest about their votes, and make themselves accessible to our community. That’s what I’ve done throughout this campaign and that’s what I vow to do when I’m elected to Congress.
I’ve spent the past year traveling across the seven counties of the 14th District, and the most pressing issue I hear about is the lack of affordable healthcare. I’ve heard from seniors who struggle to pay for their prescription medication and families who have mortgaged their homes to pay for a loved one to go to rehab.
I worked on the Affordable Care Act (ACA): I’ve read the law, I understand it, and I know how to fix what doesn’t work. I propose three central reforms to lower costs:
Stabilizing healthcare premiums by properly funding and implementing the ACA’s risk adjustment provisions -- that will bring affordable coverage and greater options to more middle class families;
Lowering out-of-pocket costs by adjusting eligibility for tax credits in order to include more middle class families in assistance programs; and
Lowering drug prices -- the U.S. government is the nation’s single largest payer for health care, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We must leverage that strength to negotiate fair prices for the middle class.
Additionally, we must invest in comprehensive mental health care for our communities.
Fixing the ACA will require the Congress to properly fund the program. We have seen a cavalier sabotage of the law by Congressional Republicans. These reckless policies have increased uncertainty and volatility in our healthcare market, to the detriment of the 37,000 hard-working people in the 14th District who have have health insurance through the ACA marketplace. These actions represent politics at its worst.
The reforms I have outlined provide a net savings that create new efficiencies in our healthcare system while incentivizing patients to take advantage of important preventive health care services. Keeping our families healthy is not only the right thing to do––it saves money.