You know there's something wrong with our health care system when the following is true:
* Health care costs are the most frequent cause of bankruptcy for middle-class families
* We spend more on health care than any other country, but have poorer outcomes
* Millions of Americans have no health care coverage at all
* Our system is controlled by insurance companies whose business model is to make money by denying service to paying customers
I believe health care is a right, not a privilege. That is why I voted to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to say so. It's also why I co-sponsored and fought for the passage of the Massachusetts health care overhaul law. Though it was not perfect, it was an important step in the fight to expand access and make health care more affordable for everyone.
Like the Massachusetts law, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was a good start at the federal level. But it doesn't solve all of our problems. Passed without a public option, the ACA still leaves millions of Americans without coverage and costs are still too high. I support a single-payer system, like Medicare, but for people of all ages. It is the only way to guarantee coverage for everyone, to put an end to health care bankruptcies once and for all, and to stop the practice of passing the cost of emergency room care for the uninsured on to those with health insurance. Other countries have single-payer models that broaden the risk pool and lower costs, guarantee coverage for everyone including those with pre-existing conditions, and eliminate the stress caused by finding new coverage when someone loses his or her job -- they pay less, cover everyone, and have better outcomes than here in the US. This fight is not over, and I will not stop working until we truly have universal health care in this country.
Insurance companies have too much power, and our leaders are either too scared or don't have the will to take them on. But I've never backed down from a tough fight, and I vow to work tirelessly to move us toward a Medicare-for-all system.