Healthcare is a right — not a privilege. I helped pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which allowed millions to afford coverage for the first time in their lives.
But, while the ACA made great strides in access to healthcare, our healthcare system is still broken. We have a long way to go and that is just the fact. Monthly premiums are still too expensive. Prescription drug prices continue to rise. And our life expectancy continues to drop year after year. A cancer diagnosis or a long hospital stay could lead to bankruptcy. In the wealthiest country in the world, this is unacceptable.
We need to think big when it comes to making healthcare more accessible. That’s why I have supported the idea of Medicare for All for over a decade. But as we move towards that ultimate goal, we need to be realistic on how we get there. I believe the first step needs to be the creation of a public option. The option will allow Americans to buy into Medicare without getting rid of private health insurance options. We can do this until we can implement Medicare for All in a way that makes sense for the country.