Health Care

Providing quality healthcare for all is a moral imperative, so we must press forward carefully.  We must take care of the people on the frontlines of America’s health struggles: the doctors, nurses and patients.  Too many of our communities lack health insurance, and risk bankruptcy in order to protect their loved ones.  If private insurance companies say that they cannot make things work for these communities, then those communities should be able to buy into Medicare.  This plan is only a stopgap, however.  At present, Medicare places too many burdens on doctors in the form of overwhelming administrative costs.  Doctors should be able to spend time with their patients, and America cannot afford to lose doctors to paperwork and red tape.  A Medicare buy-in option gives us the opportunity to reform and reduce the administrative costs while serving our most vulnerable patients.

Health care is not only about health insurance, however.  As we saw in the last legislative session here in Colorado, too many communities lack access to appropriate medical facilities.  We need to have a broad exploration of what can be done to support rural hospitals, and introduce care facilities where the closest one is too far away for effective treatment.  We need to encourage and support the general practitioners who want to serve rural communities.  The loss of these rural communities affects all of us.  We cannot ignore these communities on the theory that it’s not ourselves being harmed.

Additionally, a disturbing gap in research on clinical treatment for women undermines their ability to get the same quality of care as received by men.  I strongly support increased NIH research to bring the health care women receive up to par with the treatment men receive.  As part of any global approach to a person’s health, the patient needs to be involved and permitted to make their own health decisions.  This means that women need robust access to a full range of reproductive health services, and I will fight efforts to restrict this access.  Reproductive freedom is an essential part of women’s healthcare and must be protected.

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