Investing in Health and Care

As an Occupational Therapist I spent years working to increase the independence of children and adults across medical settings, and saw firsthand the role of care in shaping the health of individuals. As a small-business owner, I’ve found it difficult to afford health insurance, with costs that have been rising 10-15 percent every year, all while private insurers take in record profits. As a husband and father, I’ve seen Republican health care plans rolled out that would categorize my wife and daughters as preexisting conditions, and I've noticed our insurer billed for medication that is 33 times more expensive here than a few hundred miles north in Canada.

Throughout our district we have unfilled jobs and decreased productivity impacted by workers who are unable to remain healthy and pass required drug tests. We continue to pay more for health care with lower health outcomes than most of the developed world. We must commit to moving toward a more efficient and less costly system of providing and paying for health care, where individuals may address health concerns more quickly, including rehabilitation measures to kick drug addictions.

We must also ensure that reimbursement rates are sufficient for medical centers, and that we’re able to get a handle on reducing prescription drug prices. We must declare health care to be the right of all Americans, not just the privileged few; set the stage for a healthier workforce; and unlock entrepreneurial small business startups by moving to a more efficient, less costly, and effective system of health coverage: Medicare For All.

Medicare for All

Medicare for All is a priority. I will:

  • Support a new version of H.R. 676 – Medicare For All Act
  • Support a “public-option” buy-in during the transition
  • Protect the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid until we achieve single-payer
    • Maintain Medicare and Medicaid funding levels required to keep rural medical centers profitable, and to not shift burden onto States and Communities via increased property taxes

I will continue to support the New York Health Act, and, at the federal level, sign off on the waivers needed for NYS to enact it.


Nuts and Bolts

Benefits

  • Renegotiation of reimbursement rates to ensure our medical centers are financially sound, updated every 3-5 years, and indexed to inflation.
  • Annual estimated cost of $1.5 trillion to $ 2.8 trillion versus the $3 trillion we currently collectively pay every year
  • Savings via operating expenses reduced by 30 percent versus for-profit models
  • Negotiate pharmaceutical drug prices
  • Provision of “Public Option” in transition
  • Increasing enrollment at medical and nursing schools to meet the anticipated increased demand and utilization of services
  • Necessary funding for transitioning and/or retraining workers

Paid for via:

  • 6 percent payroll tax on businesses
  • 2 percent progressive income tax/premium on households
  • Increased marginal tax on top earners
  • Taxing capital gains
  • Return estate tax threshold to $3.5 million

Opioid Crisis

To save our communities and residents from addiction, we must:

  • Provide resources needed for patient and physician education
  • Reduce the supply coming from pharmaceutical companies and provide resources to investigate illegal distribution
  • Provide long-term treatment and improved care (Medicare for All)
  • Hold pharmaceutical companies accountable via:
    • Lawsuit in motion with 14 New York Counties against pharmaceutical negligence
  • Funding for National Institutes of Health and other entities to:
    • Developing pain management alternatives, as well as medication-based addiction treatments, antidotes to fentanyl
    • Development of one treatment facility per county
  • Supporting legislation