Protect the full spectrum of health care needs; (social, emotional and physical) for all our citizens.
Healthcare costs are increasing, putting a strain on our citizens' disposable income and state budgets. In developing healthcare policy, we must consider the cost that citizens must pay for care as well as the access and the quality of that care. These are factors that can affect overall health outcomes.
In 2018, according to the U.S. Census, Michigan residents without health insurance grew by 25,000, with 535,000 total uninsured, or 5.2 % of the population. A very high number considering most people receive their health insurance from employers. (The 2018 Census was taken during a period of relative economic stability and low unemployment). We must assume that with the COVID-19 pandemic, these numbers will grow exponentially.
We must make a bipartisan effort to expand and improve health care, including access and quality, for all citizens. This effort must include expanding Medicaid, lowering prescription drug prices, and reducing the costs of premiums and deductibles.
Those that seek mental health services must have access to these services with or without health insurance. We can accomplish this by decreasing barriers to behavioral health care access; shortages of providers, cost of a card, and reluctance to seek care.
Oakland Health 360
I support the Oakland Health 360 initiative introduced by Dave Coulter, Oakland County Executive. There are approximately 227,000 people in Oakland County who are underinsured or uninsured. This initiative will work towards filling in the healthcare access gaps in our county and providing a widespread safety net for those in need.
We need to reduce the cost of prescription drugs so that affording them doesn't mean choosing between having the meds you need to survive or having food on your table.
We must ensure protections for people with pre-existing conditions so that insurance companies can’t discriminate against those who have them.
Cap insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs.
Expand access to health insurance exchanges so people without insurance can purchase before the next open enrollment period.
Know that public health is a public good and free COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccinations should be available for everyone.
Punitive work requirements for Healthy Michigan disproportionately discriminate against the poorest and most vulnerable in our society and must be repealed.
Access to Quality Mental Health Care
Quality health care, by definition, must include quality mental health care.
We must remove the stigma surrounding this disease. Stereotypes and misconceptions further stigmatize those who have mental illness in society.
We must destigmatize mental illness and prioritize mental health care, which is crucial for so many of our citizens. These services must be just as readily available and convenient as any other health care service. We must encourage private practices to establish businesses in our district, contributing to our economy and benefiting our citizens.
Much like the tragedy of unintentional and unnecessary firearm deaths, no community is immune from drug abuse and overdoses, especially with opioids.
We must strictly regulate dangerous drugs like opioids, ensuring they only end up in the hands of those who need them and are genuinely dependent on them to ensure a comfortable quality of life.
We need to work with law enforcement and pharmacies to expand on drug take-back programs.