No matter where we live or what’s in our wallets, we all deserve affordable and quality healthcare close to home. I’ve spent over two decades working with military families, veterans, and seniors to improve their access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare. In Congress, I will work to safeguard vital components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): protection for essential health benefits, no annual or lifetime coverage caps, no denial of coverage based on health status or pre-existing conditions, no discrimination based on gender, and access to affordable heath insurance. But there is more work to do.
I believe it is important to work in a bipartisan fashion to tackle the challenges that remain under the ACA. Premiums have risen, particularly for small business owners, and too many people in our district are insured but struggle to afford the high out-of-pocket costs and monthly premiums. It’s time to fix the ACA’s “family glitch” so that more Ohio families qualify for affordable health insurance, implement real healthcare price transparency that is meaningful for consumers, and hold health insurers accountable for practices that unduly burden patients with barriers to needed care. We must also bring down the high price of prescription drugs for Ohioans. I will reach across the aisle to introduce legislation to increase transparency around drug pricing and to allow for Medicare price negotiations, which will bring down drug costs for all consumers.
We must also work to ensure our communities have the hospitals, emergency rooms, doctors, and nurses necessary to meet the health care needs of the people living there. This means fully funding programs that train in-demand health professionals, expanding access to specialized and preventive health care services through telehealth, eliminating payment and regulatory barriers to desperately needed mental health and addiction services, and strengthening state Medicaid programs. And, we must make certain that no single child in Ohio is unable to access their well-child visits, early intervention services, and the health care needed to have a thriving future.
Finally, we need to guarantee that Ohio’s oldest citizens can age with dignity and get the care they need when they need it. This means finally addressing the long-term solvency of Medicare through investments in healthy aging and prevention, payment models that increase the value of care delivered, and requiring pharmaceutical companies to negotiate drug prices with Medicare. Older adults do best when they can age safely in their own homes and communities, which means expanding community-based aging services and affordable residential senior care that is appropriate for individual needs. We must also address the severe caregiver workforce shortage so that families can get the help they need to care for aging and disabled loved ones. This requires ensuring the availability of career caregivers by investing in job training, raising wages, and increasing federal Medicaid reimbursement rates for these professionals.