Achieving Universal Healthcare
Access to healthcare is a life-and-death matter. American families cannot wait for healthcare relief. Economists are now calling universal healthcare the “affordable dream,” and I stand with the majority of Americans who say it’s time to make that dream our reality. The majority of Americans want a universal healthcare system, yet our government is virtually alone among industrialized nations in failing to achieve universal healthcare: nearly 60 other countries have achieved universal healthcare, including those nations whose interests and values are most in common with ours.
In Congress, I will immediately get to work with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to lower premiums for low-income and middle class families and extend high-quality coverage to more Americans as we work toward a universal healthcare system.
A better system:
People in universal healthcare systems pay significantly less for healthcare, both per person and as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). They live longer, healthier lives with better chances of surviving life-threatening illnesses and a significantly lower risk of preventable death. People in universal healthcare systems are also consistently far more satisfied with the overall quality of care.
In rural America, emergency care is often a helicopter ride away. Rural Americans’ lives might one day depend on how quickly they can get to the nearest hospital. Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid threaten the viability of rural hospitals. We must keep rural hospitals open and save the thousands of jobs these hospitals provide. In Congress, I will fight to protect rural Americans’ access to lifesaving healthcare.
A path forward:
The fastest, easiest, and surest path to achieving true universal healthcare in the United States is taking full advantage of systems already in place to fill coverage gaps until all Americans can get the care they need, placing a much stronger emphasis on preventative care, demanding total transparency and careful management of healthcare costs, and spurring open competition among providers and manufacturers to provide the best products at the lowest cost.
In his May 2017 meeting with Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, President Trump pointed out that Australia’s universal healthcare system is much better than our own. He’s right: Australians pay only about half of what Americans do for their healthcare yet Australians live an average of 3.5 years longer and they are far more satisfied with the quality of their healthcare system. Australia provides universal healthcare through the nation’s Medicare system while also allowing people to use private insurers if they wish.
An open and honest process:
Regardless of the exact path we take for universal healthcare, Americans agree it’s wrong to repeal and run and it’s wrong to create policy behind closed doors. That’s why I won’t make healthcare policy in backroom deals away from the public eye. I will instead work openly and honestly with my colleagues in Congress—regardless of party—to find solutions that lower costs and extend coverage to more Americans as we work toward achieving universal healthcare.
No American should face going bankrupt due to illness or injury. No American should pay for coverage that is too expensive to use. No American should have to choose between healthcare and putting food on the table. No American should fear changing jobs due to losing their coverage. No American should have to delay going to the doctor because of the cost.