* Override Governor Perry's Medicaid miscalculation. Following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, Texas--which has the highest uninsured rate in the country--has an opportunity to reap hundreds of millions of federal dollars (our tax money) to provide affordable health care to millions of families. Perry's refusal to acknowledge reality will only result in less care, fewer healthy and productive Texans, and higher state taxes in the long run.
* Address the results of budget cuts to our health care infrastructure. By refusing to address real costs and needs, the State Legislature is simply forcing local governments to pick up the tab and eventually raise taxes. Uncompensated care and inadequate access to providers create costs for the state, local governments, and consumers. We need to invest strategically to help control costs.
* Stop the war on women's health services. Purely political partisan positioning has resulted in Texas losing out on hundreds of millions of Federal matching money ($9-$1!) for the Women's Health Program. Adding insult to injury, the Legislature slashed family planning services by 2/3--a program that provides primary and preventive health care to uninsured women and that has been shown to save the state millions in Medicaid payments. We can't afford, morally or fiscally, to ignore the healthcare needs of women and children and call that a fiscally constrained healthcare plan. Texans all pick up the tab at some point, and playing politics with Women's health isn't a proper public health plan.
* Bring new ideas to the table to whittle down the doctor shortage. Texas ranks 46th in the number of active physicians per capita. We are facing both primary care and specialist shortages in Central Texas. As a former registered nurse I am uniquely qualified to help bring new ideas to the forefront of our antiquated healthcare delivery system. For example, advanced practice nurse practitioners and physician assistants ought to be able to practice to the full authority of their licenses and training. This will increase access and affordability at the same time.
* Keep good doctors here. Doctors are vastly more likely to live and raise a family where they complete their residency. We should encourage investment in teaching hospitals in order to generate more residency slots at home.