Providing Coverage to All Americans

Some pundits say America has the “best healthcare in the world”; perhaps it’s the best in their tiny world where only rich people matter.

Monica will be the first to admit that Obamacare was far from perfect. The law’s biggest problem was that insurance companies were still an essential part of the system. Much of the cost of health insurance contributes to the insurance corporations’ bottom line, and they have every incentive to weasel their way out of paying for treatments because it means more money in the pockets of executives.

Trumpcare will make the problem far worse. With subsidies based on age instead of income, too many hardworking people will have no affordable options. Those with preexisting conditions will take a hard hit, including even those with mental health issues. Why cut coverage? So billionaires get their tax breaks. Apparently, the free market should decrease costs, but private, for-profit health insurance has only ever increased prices.

This is why Monica supports a single-payer Medicare-for-all public healthcare system. This is the only viable solution. Removing the element of profit will remove the incentive for rates and prices to increase. Using a risk-based pool for a service people need to use simply makes no sense. Seniors who are on Medicare appreciate it for its simplicity and its wide breadth of coverage. Therefore, such a system can easily work for all Americans.

Republicans complain about public healthcare amounting a new tax, but any tax to pay for a single-payer system would be lower than premiums for private insurance. Republicans also insult public systems in other countries for being “socialist”; however, just about every other developed country in the world has superior access to healthcare, with citizens who are far more satisfied. Removing the need for complicated coverage plans and corporate profit will save money, time, and confusion for everyone.

Expanded access will also create jobs as more people can get the care they need. Supporting healthcare experts instead of insurance executives will be a valuable investment to improve America’s economy.

Lowering Prescription Drug Prices

Americans pay higher prices for prescription drugs than any other industrialized nation. This is only because pharmaceutical corporations can charge whatever they want for the medications people need to survive.

A key example of this happened in 2016 when Martin Shkreli inflated the price of an essential AIDS medication from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Later, Milan hiked the cost of the EpiPen from $94 to $600 for a 2-pack.

Many Americans need these drugs to live, so they’re consistently in demand. Therefore, corporations can charge whatever they want to line their own pockets. If everyday Americans can’t afford their prescriptions, they may die.

Out of control drug prices must stop.. If other countries can pay less for the same drugs, so can the U.S. Therefore, Monica proposes allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and allow Americans to import prescriptions from countries where they are less expensive.

Women’s Health

Federal law already prohibits the usage of tax dollars to fund abortions. Therefore, when Republicans defund Planned Parenthood, they are really defunding the cancer screenings, preventative health services, and gynecology services that make up 97% of what Planned Parenthood provides.

Furthermore, many Republicans are hell-bent on banning all abortions, even for miscarriages and when both the baby and mother are certain to die if they carry to term. Almost all third trimester abortions happen on wanted pregnancies that have become too dangerous to continue. Most of the rest occur when abortion access is unavailable during earlier points of fetal development. Mothers who just suddenly feel like aborting a previously wanted pregnancy are exceedingly rare.

The irony, of course, is that contraceptive services like those from Planned Parenthood prevent abortions. Denying access to these services does nothing to prevent pre-marital sex, as Republicans would like to believe.

Monica is not a fan of voluntary abortions; she doesn’t like them at all, which is why she believes in access to contraceptive services. Families that can wait until they are ready and willing to have children will ultimately be happier and healthier. Politicians calling themselves “pro-life” are not even willing to address the economic and social concerns that prevent parents from properly caring for children.

Mental Health Access

Mental health services in America are a joke. Too many Republicans only mention mental health after a mass shooting by someone they can’t tie to ISIS. Then they immediately forget about it, doing absolutely nothing to help the situation.

Because illnesses of the mind are not physical, they are too often treated as illegitimate even though lack of treatment for them costs America many untold hours of productivity and leads to more people being imprisoned. No one should be expected to “just get over it,” which doesn’t work and is more likely to lead to violence or suicide.

Access to necessary counseling and medications must be available to those who need them, so any single-payer healthcare system must include full mental health access.

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Monica DePaul for U.S. Congress
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