I believe that health care is a right, not a privilege.
I was never more aware of the importance of health care than after my nephew was born with Down syndrome and had to have open heart surgery when he was just four months old. Thankfully, my sister’s family had insurance through her employer, and they were able to enroll him in an intervention program when he was just a few months old. Without the coverage they had, they never would have been able to afford the intensive care my nephew received—and that was just in the first few months of his life.
When I was first starting my business, the ability to easily access health care through the ACA was essential in providing the flexibility and stability I needed to get off the ground, but not everyone is so lucky. We need to make health care both more affordable and more accessible for everyone. That is why I support a public option, so we can move our society forward and ensure that everyone—regardless of where they live or work, or how much they earn—can access the care they need.
In Congress, I will work to expand access to telehealth. Americans have greatly benefited from the expansion of telehealth, especially in rural communities like Central and Southern Illinois. Telehealth is more cost effective and provides more flexibility for patients to access care. I will advocate expanding telehealth services on a permanent basis to ensure that telehealth remains an option for Medicare beneficiaries now and after the pandemic.
Unfortunately, too many Illinois families still don’t have access to the affordable, high-quality health insurance that my sister’s family depended on for the health of their family. Despite significant gains under the Affordable Care Act, over 800,000 Illinoisians remain uninsured today. That is unacceptable.
And while many still struggle to access care at all, others find the care they do have is unaffordable. This includes so many seniors who rely on Medicare for their coverage but face ever-rising prescription drug costs from the pharmaceutical industry. That, too, has to stop.
I also support strengthening Medicare and making it work for the nearly 2 million Illinois seniors who depend on it for care. We should find ways to expand Medicare coverage to include dental, hearing, and vision; while also pursuing strategies to make overall care more affordable, such as by allowing Medicare to negotiate for prescription drug prices, lowering the costs for the federal government and seniors alike. Additionally, I believe we need to work toward preventative measures more widely to stave off another pandemic.
Making Health Care More Affordable
- Allow Medicare to negotiate for prescription drug prices so seniors can afford the medications they need
- Expand Medicare coverage to include more services, including dental, hearing, and vision.
- Introduce a public option to keep insurers honest on price hikes
In Congress, I will put people first—not Big Pharma and insurance companies—by working to get more people more affordable health care.