As a doctor, I took an oath to care for the well-being of my patients. As the Chief Medical Officer for Sacramento County, I fought to deliver quality healthcare to thousands of residents. As a Congressman, I am working with my colleagues to prioritize patient care, lower health care costs, and protect Medicare for our seniors.
Put Patients First
Our current healthcare system is deeply flawed. Rather than protecting the health of patients, private insurance companies prioritize profits. Patients are subjected to unnecessary tests, bureaucratic red tape, and outdated medical practices.
Doctors, not health insurance companies, should decide what type of care is right for their patients. We need to re-emphasize preventative care, develop modern information systems, and tailor healthcare to each individual.
When I took the Hippocratic Oath, I took the same vow that doctors have taken for generations. Patient autonomy is core to this oath. As a doctor, I have committed myself to provide my patients with the best options available and to explain the risks and benefits of those choices. At that point, it is up to my patients to make the best decision that respects their own faith, family and personal circumstances. I take that oath very seriously -- as do the thousands of doctors and medical care providers in this nation.
Right now, millions of people struggle to pay for health care. Those without insurance are forced to pay out of pocket for medical visits and prescriptions. As medical costs skyrocket, Americans are forced to make the impossible choice between financial security and receiving the care they need. During my twenty-year medical career, I've worked to improve the availability, quality, and affordability of healthcare in the Sacramento area, and I'm using that experience to do the same at the national level.
By investing in modern technology and strengthening our systems of accountability we can eliminate waste and fraud. This will lower costs and ensure that Americans can afford the medical services they truly need. We should allow the government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. By allowing Medicare to benefit from the same drug rebates that Medicaid receives for brand name and generic drugs, we could save more than $155 billion over 10 years. We must also invest in preventative care. We can prevent the heart attack and we can diagnose cancer early when it can be treated. That's not only good medicine; it saves lives and cut costs. Additionally, we can spend less money on bureaucracy, and more on taking care of patients.
Protect Medicare and Social Security
More than 50 million Americans rely upon Medicare for health insurance. This vital program keeps our seniors and young people with disabilities healthy and economically secure. As a doctor, I've met with seniors who had to choose between buying the medications they need and putting food on the table. This is unacceptable.
People pay into Medicare and Social Security their entire lives, and we must honor the promises we've made to our parents and grandparents so they can get the support and health care they need. We also need to ensure these programs are around for future generations. Congress should be discussing how to strengthen this program for our seniors -- not eliminate it. By lowering drug costs, ending wasteful tests and procedures, and encouraging preventative care, we can safeguard these vital programs for future generations.
Click here to see the letter I signed to President Obama affirming my opposition to cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits. 106 of my colleagues joined in signing the letter.
For more information concerning my work and views on Health Care issues, please contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you.