I believe that everything we’ve learned from the Affordable Care Act points to the need to move toward a more nationalized system where the government regulates prices for healthcare services and products. Our current decentralized system has not led to cooperation among insurance companies that would increase their bargaining power, we have numerous uncoordinated delivery systems, and it’s virtually impossible to find out how much a particular procedure, drug, or medical device is going to cost.
Ultimately, I think a national single-payer system would be the best solution for our country. A well-constructed single-payer system would serve all markets and all individuals, streamline operations, eliminate the influence and expense of for-profit insurance companies, take advantage of enormous economies of scale, increase transparency, and enable data collection that would facilitate innovation.
We also must develop a plan for rebuilding the dwindling primary care physician workforce and ensuring that there are enough primary care providers to serve the communities of the Central Valley. We need to look at reimbursement reform, loan forgiveness programs for graduating medical students, and greater emphasis on primary care education.
For now, we need to preserve the Affordable Care Act, under which more than 20 million Americans have gained health coverage, and defend Medicare and Medicaid. And we must restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which plays an essential role in providing needed medical services to 15,000 people in District 10.