While the Affordable Care Act is still controversial, it is clear that it is helping millions of people get access to healtcare that they would not have been able to afford before. But the system is still broken. Drug costs are still growing at a far higher rate than ever before, private insurance costs are still raising, and it’s not the fault of the ACA. It boils down to shear greed. We need to stand up and fight insurance companies and give people a real alternative to private insurance. We have to fight to keep malpractice suits realistic so doctors don’t have to carry such high premiums to protect themselves. We need to fight the drug companies and make drug costs in the country more affordable. Many drug companies spend more per year on advertising than on research and development. When elected, I will introduce legislation that will ban TV and Radio ads featuring prescription drugs. Our doctors should be deciding what is best for us, not the drug companies.

I fully support Senator Bernie Sanders plan for healthcare. Right now, the United States is the only industrialized country that does not provide healthcare for everyone. The insurance companies lobby hard against moving to a single payer system because for them, it would be the end of a huge money maker. I firmly believe that if you get sick or injured, you should have access to the care you need to save your life. I’m not suggesting that federal healthcare should cover things like cosmetic or non-medically needed care, but we should cover necessary care.

It is baffling to me that we are okay with the idea of not treating someone, or forcing them into bankruptcy if they get sick and cannot afford treatment. I know that Sen. Sanders plan is a huge shift in ideology for our country. That’s why I supported the ACA (Affordable Care Act). It was designed as a stop gap and a way to start reigning in the insurance companies. It brought an end to insurance companies refusing treatment due to pre-existing conditions. It made preventative care accessible which in turn saves the system and tax payers money.

I don’t expect a single payer system to appear overnight in our country. It’s a huge shift, and to ensure that it doesn’t fair before it even begins, any large scale plan should be implemented in steps just like the ACA was. If the Republicans want to replace the ACA with something that offers the same benefits, and ensures that more people have access to healthcare, I will support it. If it does not benefit the country and it’s people, I will stand up and vote no and be sure to get others on my side.

Our Declaration of Independence clearly states that one of the rights endowed upon us should be LIFE as well as liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we want to uphold that ideal, we need to ensure that we all have access to medical care that ensures that right to life.