Everyone deserves access to the medical care that they need. The private healthcare market must be regulated in order to ensure that everyone is able to access medical help. My goal is to work towards a Pennsylvania where everyone has health insurance. Whether that be through Medicaid and Medicare, or through private insurance. I will also fight to cap co-pays and ensure oversight on the cost of medications. Too many Pennsylvanians have to make the impossible choice between paying for insulin and paying for food. People should not need to make the choice between putting food on the table against the cost of affording their life-saving medication.
There are currently multiple bills aimed at regulating private insurance companies that are sitting in committee in the PA House and Senate. Some of the bills include House Bill (HB) 470 (2019) and Senate Bill (SB) 939 (2019) which prohibit insurance companies from implementing lifetime or annual limits on health benefits. HB 469 (2019) and SB 51 (2019) which require insurance companies to cover ten essential health benefits and HB 1013 (2019) and SB 50 (2019) which prohibit insurance companies from denying or excluding coverage of a pre-existing condition. When elected, I will work to continue pushing for these bills to become law.
Mental health issues need to be treated with the same level of care and seriousness with which we address issues of physical health. To do so, we need to support a robust mental health workforce whereby we promote better integration of the behavioral and general health care systems. Healthcare needs to be about taking care of the whole person. That can only be done if the mental health component is adequately factored in.
Good mental health is a critical component to a high standard of living. Mental health is important for all people of all ages. In order to ensure that everyone’s health needs are taken seriously, we need to work with health care professionals to ensure that access to mental health care is available and accessible. This includes ensuring that school children have access to mental health services.
Additionally, we need to do better in ensuring that individuals suffering from substance-abuse disorders receive the help they need by expanding our community-based treatment and providing them with mental health services. Furthermore, lack of mental health care is a contributing factor to suicide. Suicide is a public health crisis that desperately needs to be addressed as such. We need to ensure that there is a national initiative aimed at suicide prevention to move toward the HHS-promoted Zero Suicide commitment.