We all have strong feelings on healthcare, and at the end of the day that’s for the same reason – we all want the best care possible for ourselves and our families, and we don’t want to have to worry about affording life-saving care or medications. My partner Kris was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just a few years ago, and we spent so much of his early treatment fighting with insurance companies to get him his prescriptions. When we got things settled, the cost of the prescription drugs that keep him alive without health insurance would be $7,200 a month. Our working families can’t afford that, and no family should have to. Our healthcare system is broken, and it’s going to take a lot to fix it. I am supportive of Medicare for All, one of the pieces I really like is how the current version of the bill tackles long-term care supports for seniors, something that I have been working on in the Legislature. However, I’m not wedded to only one way of solving the healthcare crisis – that’s why in the Legislature I have supported multiple ways forward including a state-based single-payer system or public option allowing people to buy into Medicaid to hold the line on rising costs. I am committed to fighting for any and all health care policy that holds pharmaceutical companies accountable for responsible drug prices, that provides better care to our children and families including in rural settings, and that promotes the principle that healthcare is a human right.
While Americans are having to make decisions between paying their bills or putting food on their tables and being able to afford life-saving medication, Big Pharma kicked off the new year by raising prices on 250 prescription drugs. This fight is personal for me and my family – without the healthcare we have now, we wouldn’t be able to afford the prescription medications my partner needs to stay healthy. Life and death factors like this shouldn’t hinge on partisan politics or corporate interests. In Congress, I’ll stand up to pharmaceutical companies and fight for people-centered policies like more affordable prescription drugs and letting the government negotiate prices for Medicare patients.
As the nature of work, our population, and communities change, we must make sure everyone has access to affordable, quality long-term care. As a state legislator who talks to hundreds of older Michiganders every year, I have seen firsthand how important it is that they and their families receive the support they need. Over the years, more and more families ask me what kind of help is available for them and their loved ones – a working daughter whose mother with Alzheimer’s can no longer live alone; a woman whose husband with Parkinson’s needs more help than she can provide as she herself gets older; older Michiganders who live alone and are struggling to keep themselves safe and healthy without support. When my grandfather needed long-term care, the bill came to more than $8,000 each month. It pains me that there is little we can offer them, for what many of them need – affordable, high-quality long-term care – simply doesn’t exist.
As a State Representative, I have been working to find affordable long-term solutions for our seniors. In 2018, I built a bipartisan coalition to pass legislation to conduct a landmark study of long-term care in Michigan and explore and propose real policy solutions for the state to pursue. If elected to Congress, among my first priorities will be reforming our healthcare system to provide quality long-term care solutions for seniors.
I support a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. I support Roe v Wade. If elected I will continue to protect a woman’s right to choose as I have done my entire career. I believe we must reinstate Title X funding to Planned Parenthood so they can continue to provide quality low-cost healthcare and reproductive health services to every American. Additionally, we must repeal the Hyde Amendment to end the stratification of federally-funded reproductive healthcare based on income.