I believe that everyone has a right to accessible and affordable healthcare. I am committed to protecting the health of all citizens regardless of age, socioeconomic status, health history, or gender. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010, I have seen firsthand the direct impact of this legislation locally over the past seven years to communities and families across the Central Coast.
The ACA meant Sarah from Lompoc could afford to open her own small business and afford insurance coverage for her two children.
It meant that when Kathleen in San Luis Obispo was diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer, her $500,000 medical bill was covered by her healthcare plan.
And it meant that Adrienne, from Buellton, can now afford to pay for her husband’s nursing facility, as his debilitating disease prevents her from being able to physically care for him.
I have been a strong supporter of protecting the ACA and lowering premiums. In 2021, I voted in support of the American Rescue Plan to temporarily lower premiums by an average of 40 percent for two years. As these cuts were set to expire, I then voted yes on the Inflation Reduction Act to extend these reductions to premiums through 2025.
While the ACA has provided health insurance to cover the 23 million Americans, it still is not perfect and health care and prescription drug costs remain too high. I am supportive of legislation to create a public option under the ACA and provide much-needed competition with private industry to bring down insurance costs.
Now, more than ever, Congress must work across the aisle to improve our health care system and bring down costs for all Americans. That is why I have joined with a bipartisan group of my colleagues in the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to craft smart, bipartisan legislation that would stabilize the insurance markets and lower prescription drug costs. These proposals include mandatory funding for CSR payments and creating a permanent reinsurance program.
I am committed to strengthening Medicare and never seeing it cut. Medicare provides quality healthcare to thousands of residents on the Central Coast. I also voted on the Inflation Reduction Act because it allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices and caps out-of-pocket costs for seniors at $2,000 per year. It also caps the cost of insulin for Medicare patients at $35 per month, ensuring this life-saving drug is accessible to those who need it. I want to see Medicare expanded to include dental and vision so it can give all seniors access to services they need.
It is Congress' responsibility to protect people’s right to accessible, affordable, and nondiscriminatory health care.
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