Access to High Quality Healthcare
When my brother Chris was 18, he was in a rollover car accident. He suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him a quadriplegic. My family thought we had great health insurance, but the insurance companies fought us every step of the way. Even with insurance, our monthly out-of-pocket bills amounted to more than $20,000. After my father passed away, the insurance company cut off our coverage altogether; Chris’ care was costing them too much money. They abandoned us because we were just numbers on a spreadsheet. Back then a pre-existing condition like quadriplegia would disqualify you from coverage. We had nowhere to turn.
What happened to us wasn’t a fluke. My family’s experience is far too common.
Fortunately, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) eliminated the use of pre-existing conditions to disqualify people from coverage. It also allowed tens of millions of families to gain access to health insurance, and increased health care offerings in the marketplace for folks from all walks of life.
The insurance companies did not take this lying down. They have fought tooth-and-nail to repeal these lifesaving provisions because it hurts their bottom line. Their advocacy has lead to gaps that continue to make health care inaccessible to many.
Insurance companies are still holding people hostage. They use people’s need for medical care to extort high copays and premiums and charge uncompetitive prices.
We must make medical care less expensive, more accessible, and better quality. We can do this by:
Strengthening and expanding Medicare
Providing more resources for state run insurance programs.
Lowering prescription costs by compelling pharmaceutical companies to come to the negotiating table.
Passing laws that prevent price gouging and require lower out-of-pocket maximums.
Providing incentives for new insurance companies to enter the marketplace to drive down prices and improve the quality of coverage.
We need a system that focuses on patient care, not padding the pockets of executives.
My opponent, Dave Joyce, has been in lock step with the insurance companies every step of the way. He voted over 30 times to repeal the ACA without offering a replacement. If Joyce had been successful, he would have done to millions of Americans and thousands of Ohioans what the insurance companies did to my family: cut off their insurance coverage and left them to fend for themselves.
Our families deserve better healthcare and we all deserve better than Dave Joyce.