Universal access to affordable health care should be a right, not a privilege, in our country. It is shameful that 45 million Americans, including 400,000 New Mexicans, go without health insurance. Many of them are children - the most vulnerable among us.
At the same time, insurance and pharmaceutical industry profits continue to reach new heights.
My first priority in Congress will be to pass legislation giving all Americans access to quality affordable health care. This includes reauthorizing SCHIP (which the President, with the help of his party, recently vetoed) so that all of America's children have health care.
We must also rethink the health care model by giving people incentives to lead healthier lives, which will help contain health care costs and improve health outcomes. Preventive care should be as important as catastrophic care, and it will save taxpayers billions in the long run.