Each week until the Va-10 congressional district Democratic Party primary election on June 12, The Blue View will ask all six candidates to respond to a key question on an important issue in 100 words or less.
This week’s question: How should we reform healthcare in this country?
Answers below from candidates, in alphabetical order:
I believe we must move to a single payer Medicare for all system with a focus on preventative treatment. We must also empower the government to negotiate drug prices and adjust patent laws so that big pharma cannot patent life saving drugs. We also must combat a looming doctor shortage that may reach 104,000 by 2030 with STEM programs in every school along with reduced and free tuition at public colleges in exchange for a civil service requirement.
Barbara Comstock has taken campaign contributions from big pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry, and she voted repeatedly to repeal Obamacare. And job one is to stop the Republican efforts to tear apart the ACA and defund Planned Parenthood. In Congress, I’ll work to improve health care and expand options for all Virginians, including the more than 300,000 who rely on Obamacare. I’ll work to protect and expand Medicare. You can count on me to take on the big drug companies to lower prescription drug costs. And I’ll always fight to protect women’s reproductive rights.
Too many people still don’t have access to quality, affordable healthcare. I believe healthcare is a right, so I support a Medicare for All option, which would create a public option that people could choose to buy into (at a sliding price scale based on income) if they don’t have insurance through their employer, or want something other than the private insurance options available on the exchanges. The ACA was a good first step, but even with the exchanges, there are still too many people who don’t have access to an affordable option, so this would fill that gap.
Access to healthcare is a basic human right being threatened by Donald Trump and Republicans. While the ACA isn’t perfect, we must mend it, not end it. As a former federal prosecutor, I eliminated billions in Medicare fraud by establishing nationwide Health Care Fraud Strike Forces. I spent a career standing up to Big Pharma and crooked executives, holding them accountable. I will work to defend and stabilize the healthcare system through reforms that will lower premiums and drive down prescription drug costs. I will fight to increase the number of people with insurance and improve coverage.
I believe that healthcare is not just a privilege for those who can afford it, but a right for all. First, we have to fight to protect the Affordable Care Act from the Trump administration’s constant attempts to repeal it. We must urge Congress to prioritize defending the ACA, and replace our representatives who will not. Second, I believe we must move the country towards a single-payer system that provides accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare to every single American.
I believe that access to affordable, quality healthcare is a right for all Americans. I have been a strong advocate for Medicaid Expansion in the General Assembly and I will carry that same fight to Congress. I will fight to protect coverage for those with preexisting conditions, eliminate lifetime caps, fund CHIP, and keep Medicare and Medicaid strong and accessible. I will also support measures to drive healthcare costs down, including allowing the Federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices.
Compiled by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick, a member of the Dranesville District Democratic Committee and Virginia Democracy Forward. A former columnist and recipe editor for The Washington Post, she now writes a weekly column for mylittlebird.com.