Affordable and Accessible Healthcare
Access to affordable health care should be a right for every American. But as recently as 2018, 181,400 citizens in Connecticut did not have health insurance, making them far less likely to seek preventive care. This often means people eventually end up in emergency rooms with acute conditions that cause unnecessary suffering, and are expensive to treat. The U.S. spends more per capita on health care than any other nation. Yet two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy in the United States cite medial issues as the main reason.
The ongoing pandemic and resulting double-digit unemployment rate clearly highlight the danger of having a health insurance program primarily based on employer-provided coverage.
I will work to improve and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, while expanding HUSKY and protecting Medicare. I believe a strong first step to making healthcare more functional is a public option for Connecticut, which will reduce costs for individuals and businesses. Democrats in the state legislature have already developed public option legislation, which would provide new health plans for small businesses, nonprofits and individuals featuring networks of quality doctors and providers at affordable, predictable costs. I will support those efforts.
I will work to help Attorney General William Tong fight the unfair pricing policies of major pharmaceuticals. I will work with Comptroller Kevin Lembo on improving the state health care plan by reducing costs through initiatives such as diabetes management programs. And I will work in the legislature to ensure our children are safe in their schools through effective, science-based vaccination programs.
Health care equity includes our ability as a state to continue to address the opioid crisis by ensuring affordable treatment is available for people who have become victims of this epidemic. It includes seeking solutions for the poorer outcomes suffered by people of color in our state. We have smart organizations working on this in Connecticut, including the Connecticut Health Foundation and Connecticut Voices for Children, and we need to listen to experts and find the best possible solutions.
In the last election, my opponent actually used my commitment to better healthcare for the residents of the 18th District to label me ‘radical’ (see radicalbobstatchen.com, which she continues to keep online). But she doesn’t offer any solutions to our current problems, and cites only endorsements from medical groups that benefit from the broken status quo. We can and will do better to give our citizens the health care options they deserve, and if that’s radical, then so be it.