Healthcare for All

The United States is the wealthiest country in the world. We have the world’s best hospitals, nurses, and physicians. We provide an insurance policy to 90% of our citizens. We spend more on healthcare than any other nation anywhere. Yet millions of Americans lack access to healthcare when they need it and suffer preventable complications, permanent injury, and needless deaths. Because our uniquely dysfunctional system restricts healthcare rather than promotes it, American medical outcomes and public health measures are among the worst in the industrialized world.

Our problem is obvious: 30% of American healthcare dollars go to administration, not to medical care. We have the highest administrative costs of any healthcare system in the world. These massive administrative costs reflect Congress’s ongoing refusal to enact universal healthcare. 

If the US brought our administrative costs down to that of our industrial neighbors, all of whom use universal care, we could recover more than enough to expand healthcare to everyone in America, and still spend less than we do now.

I want all Americans to get the healthcare they need, when they need it, regardless of age, employment, or financial status. No American should endure bankruptcy trying to pay for a treatable condition. Every other industrial nation does better than we do, and every one of them uses universal care. We can do better, we must do better, and universal healthcare is the way to do better.

Currently the most comprehensive solution to our healthcare crisis being proposed is the Medicare for All Act of 2019 In Congress I will champion this bill and continue to strive towards the best, most visionary solutions to our healthcare crisis. I will work with my colleagues in Congress and around the country to provide better care to more people for less money.

Check out this letter from 200+ Economists Who Support Medicare for All  for more on how feasible a publicly financed healthcare system really is.

Income Inequality & the Federal Minimum Wage

Over my lifetime I’ve seen the cost of housing and living expenses steadily rise while the median average income has not risen to match. All we need to do is drive around our communities and talk to our neighbors to see that people are struggling.

People working full time should not be living in poverty, yet we have that happening all around us. I support raising  the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour over a 2 year period and then making the minimum wage relative to the cost of housing in a metro region or county. I also support reinvesting in our communities by way of increased affordable housing options. 

Cost of Housing

Rents are rising and incomes aren’t rising to match. Across the state, rates of homelessness are rising year after year. The federal government isn’t doing enough to help our neighbors who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, evidenced by the fact that the proposed 2020 budget for HUD is down $8.6 billion from the 2019 budget.

We need more housing and different types of housing in this state to help keep people off the streets. We need to use our residential land more efficiently and provide truly affordable housing that working class people and retired folk can afford, housing that isn’t subject to the whims of the market.

In Congress, I will push for increased funding to keep people off the streets. Data tells us that the best way to save lives and end chronic homelessness is to simply house people. Give people the stability of a roof over their head and work with local agencies to provide wrap around services to help people get back on their feet.

Paid Family Medical Leave

When people are making the personal decision of starting a family or having another child, worry about losing their jobs shouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind. In order to build a stronger society we need to support those that are raising the next generation.

I support paid family medical leave for 12 weeks for both parents after the birth of a child or adoption. We need to look at supporting families at all levels including providing options for people to work part-time without losing their benefits and allowing infants in more workplaces.

Children should spend as much of the first 2 years of their lives with their parents. Whenever that stops being possible it is on society to provide safe, high quality day care systems that are available to everyone.