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.
My first year in Congress, House Republicans passed a bill that would have repealed the ACA and taken away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. I voted against this repeal because it would have skyrocketed health care costs and taken insurance coverage away from over 27,000 Central Coast residents. The ACA repeal bill thankfully failed to pass the Senate, but since then, Republicans have taken steps to weaken our health insurance system and dramatically increase premium costs by destabilizing the insurance market.
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. 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 have also co-sponsored legislation to create a public option under the ACA and provide much-needed competition with private industry to bring down insurance costs.
It is Congress' responsibility to protect people’s right to accessible, affordable, and nondiscriminatory health care.For more information concerning work and views related to health, please contact our office.