I have spent my professional life caring for people and educating the next generation of doctors. Unfortunately, the system consistently puts bureaucracies before the health of our patients. I have witnessed medical costs skyrocket without seeing patient care improve. And I have treated patients who would be healthier if they could have afforded basic preventive care. This is the result of an industry that puts profits before patients.
Too often, politicians in Washington, D.C. are focused on scoring cheap political points instead of serving the pressing needs of their constituents. Rather than putting the health of our citizens first, some members of Congress advocate passing costs onto our seniors by turning Medicare into a voucher system. Breaking this promise is both morally intolerable and fiscally irresponsible. Moving forward, we must work together so that the all Americans have access to the best health care in the world.
The legislation signed into law makes strides to reform our broken system. However, the law fails to adequately address runaway costs. As a doctor, I understand in real terms how this legislation can impact caregivers and patients. We must reduce waste and fraud, empower the doctor-patient relationship, and improve the health of the American people.
Health care costs too much. Retail charges are too high, and insurance premiums have become unaffordable for too many individuals, families, and small businesses. As it stands, the new law fails to adequately address rising costs. In Congress, I will identify and address the causes of rising costs, like fraud and wasteful practices. It is within our grasp to ensure that quality care is available and affordable for all.
Two of the biggest drivers of cost in our system—waste and fraud—can be readily addressed by instituting more communication, transparency and accountability. This does not require increased government control: we can equip caregivers, medical staff, and patients with the tools to monitor the system themselves. Shared information, increased consumer choice, and market competition are powerful forces in reducing costs.
Advancements in technological and scientific knowledge will transform medicine once more, dramatically lowering costs and raising outcomes. We can empower physicians and patients with the information they need to make the best treatment decisions by expanding electronic decision support. We can create a claims processing system for physicians, as we have for pharmacists, banks, and investments. We can invest in tools that save on administrative costs while preventing criminal and wasteful fraud. But to solve these pressing problems, we need leaders who care more about fixing our healthcare system than winning petty political battles.
Stem Cell Research
As a Doctor and UC Davis faculty member, I understand the importance of investing in stem cell research. Too many people suffer from agonizing, debilitating, and life-threatening illnesses. But Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, paralysis, and Parkinson’s are tragedies that we can avoid. One day, families may never again be left to watch helplessly and hopelessly while a loved one suffers. But these miraculous achievements will not come about on their own. We need diligent research, American innovation, and the will to succeed to create a new era of medical—and humanitarian—breakthroughs. Investing to make sure these innovations take place in the United States will not only make our country stronger and healthier, it will create jobs in Sacramento County.
Making Sure Medicare is Secure and Solvent
For decades, Medicare has allowed our seniors to retire with dignity. By assuring care to aging Americans, Medicare establishes the financial security necessary for a strong and prosperous economy. Several members of Congress, including my opponent, continue to advocate for the replacement of the current Medicare model with a weakened privatized system. As a doctor, I understand that we have a lot of work to do in order to improve the efficiency and sustainability of Medicare. But recklessly shifting costs to our seniors is simply intolerable. In Congress, I will fight to protect Medicare, while aggressively attacking the waste and fraud that currently threatens the program’s long-term solvency.
Fighting for Families
Health care is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Getting sick shouldn’t mean bankruptcy or a second mortgage. Our nation deserves a healthcare system that enables opportunity and prosperity. Our district deserves a representative who understands our needs and will fight for our interests. After all, it’s our health, it’s our district, and it’s our choice. The diagnosis is clear: we need to put patients before profits to ensure that we have the best healthcare system in the world.