I support universal health care access for all. I will work hard in Congress for a system that guarantees choice of physicians, excellence, affordability and timeliness of care. Every other industrialized nation provides health care for all its citizens and it’s time we provided this basic right to all Americans.
The health care crisis is real and growing. The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation supporting independent research on health and social issues, recently projected that there will be 47 million uninsured Americans in 2007. It estimates that an additional 16 million Americans are underinsured. This study also found that “two of five working-age Americans with annual incomes between $20,000 and $40,000 were uninsured for at least part of the past year.” Many working and middle class families simply can no longer afford coverage, placing them at risk. This is completely unacceptable and I’ll work to change it.
For me, the issue is which universal care system can be put in place most quickly so that we can secure quality health care for every American. I am open to any system that will achieve this quickly, equitably, and cost-effectively. For the 47 million uninsured Americans, the question isn’t single-payer or multi-payer. For them, the question is, how do we get health care coverage for ourselves and our families as soon as possible. Providing them with the access to health care they deserve has to be our first priority.
The universal health care plan that I favor already has a promising model. Why not give it a try? That’s the newly enacted Massachusetts Universal Health Care Plan, which was supported by Deval Patrick when he was a candidate for Governor and that he continues to strongly support today. It also seems to be consistent with what three of the leading Democratic candidates for President — Clinton, Obama, and Edwards — are advocating. My goal is the implementation of a system that achieves an effective, inclusive health care system. Why not support the most immediate hope for providing the universal health care that we want to see implemented?