Healthcare Platform

Healthcare is a human right.

Every person needs healthcare: the very young, the elderly, and everyone in between. But instead of building a healthcare system based on universal need, we have a system that maximizes private profit while pushing costs on and creating barriers for working families, small businesses, and underrepresented communities. If I am fortunate enough to serve as your senator, I will work tirelessly to ensure that our healthcare system is improved so that you can finally afford the care you deserve.

Our healthcare system desperately needs a serious overhaul. From the small to the foundational: We need major changes that will reshape our economy and society. We are also in need of some smaller and more technical upgrades, which will help increase access to high-quality, affordable care for people who can’t always reach it, and make the entire system more sustainable for everybody.

I strongly support a single-payer healthcare system and Medicare for All legislation. This change puts people at the center of our policy decisions, not corporations, and will help break down generational poverty and systems of oppression. Medicare for All will ensure that all people, regardless of race or income, have quality, affordable, and accessible care, and that everybody can receive the care they need. A single-payer system will also create incredible savings and efficiencies brought on by major economies of scale, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug costs and other services to save money and keep our system working smoothly.

Because of these efficiencies - and because a Medicare for All system doesn’t need to return money to shareholders the way that for-profit insurance companies do - our state and local budgets, our small businesses, and our own households can realize savings. Whether we pay in the form of premiums and copays or through taxes, any healthcare system is going to cost money. By moving to single-payer, we can ensure that healthcare is a human right and simultaneously save money that can be invested in other public programs and services.

Western Massachusetts has several unique healthcare challenges and opportunities. I support telemedicine coverage so that our rural communities have easier access to medical information and professionals.  I support fair community hospital pricing so that our community hospitals are sustainable in the long-term, and are not reimbursed at lower rates than bigger hospitals for the same procedures.

I vehemently oppose Governor Baker’s attempts to kick 140,000 low-income people off MassHealth and rollback a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, which would hurt vulnerable communities in Western Massachusetts and elsewhere.

I support taking measures to improve elder care in Massachusetts, including adequately paying home care aides and personal care attendants to recruit and retain essential caregivers who can keep seniors healthy and in their homes. I also support providing culturally competent elder services so that LGBTQ and other underrepresented seniors can be treated with dignity, and served without discrimination.

I support raising income eligibility thresholds for home care and MassHealth so that people who are struggling can access the services they need. I support increasing funding for home care, enhanced homecare, elder protective services, and elder homelessness prevention and support.

I support safe nurse staffing levels so that every patient gets the care they need and deserve, and every nurse has an appropriate and manageable number of patients.

All people deserve access to reproductive healthcare and accurate information so they can make informed choices about their bodies. I am very concerned by crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that lure in vulnerable women and spread lies and misinformation in an attempt to keep women from getting abortions. Women should be able to make their own reproductive health decisions, and not be subject to lies, blame, or intentionally deceitful information. I support access to contraception for all people. I support repealing archaic anti-abortion laws still on the books in Massachusetts. I support reducing barriers for all people to make the health care decisions that are right for them.

To combat the opioid epidemic, I support expanding intervention and treatment options for people in every stage of recovery. 2017 was the 2nd highest year on record for opioid deaths in Massachusetts, with 2,069 residents losing their lives to overdose. I support increasing access to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone (Narcan), increasing the number of treatment beds in Western Massachusetts, and expanding access to the most effective treatments such as medication for addiction treatment, particularly for those most at risk like incarcerated persons. After volunteering at a needle exchange, I have also seen the vital role of harm reduction strategies that meet people where they are in their recovery. I support expanding syringe exchange sites and other proven strategies, such as harm reduction sites where people can consume pre-obtained substances under medical supervision, in order to reduce infection rates, engage people in treatment, and save lives.

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