We have to take the profit motive out of providing health care. Insurance companies are corporations required by law to produce maximum return on investment for their shareholders. This leads to excluding people with pre-existing conditions, failure to provide health care for low-income children and their families, and lifetime caps on coverage that cut off those who need coverage the most even when they have diligently paid premiums to the insurance companies all their adult lives.
The Affordable Care Act corrects some of these problems and it is a start; but it is only a start. I look forward to working on creating health insurance exchanges, but these exchanges must serve the people and not the insurance industry by driving down costs, establishing strict requirements for continued participation, and providing consumers with reliable information about insurance plans and their eligibility for tax credits as well as state and federal assistance programs.
We must advocate for a federal Medicare-for-all program as the best, most efficient solution to the health insurance question. I would gladly co-sponsor legislation to enact single-payer programs at the state level. We should also consider changing the piece-work approach to medical billing as this contributes to poor health care outcomes. Instead medical professionals should be paid a salary commensurate with their level of professional achievement; this will allow them to give each patient their full attention and respect.
We have to recognize that health care will be less of burden if we are a healthier society. The growing gap between the rich and poor has terrible consequences and the effects are nowhere so egregious as in the lack of access to quality health care among the poor, especially among children. Early education opportunities and health care for young children will foster young adults who are much more likely to make a significant contributions to their communities. Finally, there should be no incentives given to businesses to create more low-paying jobs in poor working conditions. Instead we should give incentives to spur growth in green energy and small farms and businesses that pay wages that can support a family.
Brian L. Gunn
Candidate for State Representative, 31st District, Position 1