Every Michigan citizen has a right to quality, affordable healthcare. We must work to lower healthcare costs, expand access to care for working families and expand Medicaid coverage to include those in need. I believe in:
- Protecting people with pre-existing conditions. No one should be denied affordable coverage because of medical conditions out of their control.
- Protecting the Healthy Michigan program. Michigan’s Medicaid expansion has gotten nearly 700,000 people health insurance who needed it, and yet it the subject of constant political attacks in Lansing.
- Lowering the price of prescription drugs. In the last five years, prescription drug prices have gone up at five times the rate of inflation. Part of the problem is drug companies aren’t required to provide any transparency into why they’re raising prices. We need to bring sunshine into the process, and we need to increase market competition in the drug market to drive down prices.
- We need to take action on the issue of insulin affordability. Insulin was invented in 1923 – and the inventor actually sold the patent for just a dollar, because he believed it would be unethical to profit off of such an important drug. But now the cost can be as high as $450 a month. Nearly a quarter of diabetes patients report rationing insulin because it’s so expensive. Drug companies didn’t need to invest in researching this century old treatment. They’re price gouging, plain and simple. Colorado has capped the monthly allowed co-pay for insulin. I support doing that here. And I would support having the Attorney General investigating insulin pricing practices.
- I support allowing the importation of prescription drugs from Canada and I support allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies – which it is currently banned from doing. While these issues require federal action, I will make my voice heard in Lansing to the best of my ability.
- We need to treat mental illness like any other illness. More than half of Michiganders who have insurance can’t afford mental health treatment. Michigan needs to require insurers to cover depression and substance abuse the same way they do any other illness and we need to back that requirement up with constant monitoring and enforcement.
- The state needs to invest in encouraging and training the next generation of behavioral health counselors and addiction specialists. And we need to encourage more graduates from our state university system’s medical schools to stay in Michigan and practice here.