Issue Position: Health Care

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2017

I support quality, affordable health care for every American. I realize the complexity of the issue and remain open to innovative solutions. But I am concerned that the political climate is hurting more than helping, especially for folks living in Alabama.

Washington is Hurting Americans by Playing Partisan Politics with Our Healthcare
The plan passed by the Republican House is a cheap political trick -- playing partisan politics and leaving 23 million more people without real healthcare options. It was "negotiated" behind closed doors among factions in the Republican Party without the benefit of the advice of experts and stakeholders that deliver healthcare services. Now the Republican-controlled Senate is doing the exact same thing. Congress must operate with more openness and transparency

If we really want to make life better for Americans (and Alabamians) let's talk about what we keep and what we change in the ACA.

*I will work to defend Medicare and Medicaid,
*I will ensure young people can stay on their family plan,
*I will prevent discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions,
*I will ensure veterans get the care and benefits they've earned.

Congress must continue to take a critical look at healthcare reform, but anything that gets my support must pass four tests:

*All Americans deserve the right to quality, affordable healthcare.
*No American should be unable to make ends meet from out-of-control medical bills.
*Pre-existing conditions should never be a reason to deny care or make care unaffordable.
*Preventative care should be a foundation of our health care system. It is inefficient and dangerous for Americans to rely on the emergency room to treat preventable illness.

I think these principles are critical to the many plans and options that will unfold. The ACA was not intended to be the final word on healthcare -- but the improvements should strive toward universal coverage.

We are all shaped by our own experiences -- especially when it comes to the complications of healthcare. As I campaign for the Senate today; my priority is still my family.

My parents are now in need of more substantial care than a few years ago. We are navigating the complex world of multiple specialists, lack of capacity, and skyrocketing costs. My folks were modest, hard-working people. Healthcare costs are eating away their modest savings and we are working with both Medicare and Medicaid to see that they get the care they need. I truly understand firsthand the frustrations many have with our system.

Women's Health:
I reject the war on Planned Parenthood as another Washington-centered partisan game. I will defend women's access to contraception and a woman's right to choose and fight any legislation or executive action that would allow insurance companies to discriminate against women.

Small Business
We can't lay this social need at the foot of small businesses. If our workplace remains the primary way we are insured, we must work to ensure that health insurance premiums don't cripple small businesses or force them to lay off employees. In fact, we must promote policies advance our country's entrepreneurial biotech sector.

States in Control?
Really? I respect the role of the state in many areas, but our need for health care doesn't changes from state-to-state. The ability to be healthy should not depend on the state in which you live.

Former Governor Bentley rejected a Medicaid expansion that would have helped both our people and our economy. Why? Because he put partisan politics and his own re-election ahead of the interests of the people of Alabama, Your right to health care should not depend on the state in which you live.