Making Healthcare Affordable for More Americans, Not Less

If Congress is going to make progress on the big hairy issues facing our country, then Democrats and Republicans need to come together. It’s the only way to find solutions that can help folks in our region and across the country.

But too often, politics in Washington D.C. has taken the ‘my way or the highway’ approach. Look at healthcare, for example.

While we are still waiting for the full, public details of the Senate’s plan we know it will be close to what the House passed. And the majority pushed through a healthcare plan that would effectively dismantle much of the progress made under the Affordable Care Act. It didn’t pass the test of improving the system. Instead, it would cover fewer people and cost taxpayers and those purchasing insurance more.

When I think of the damage it would do, I think of the people I represent. Earlier this spring I met with a woman at the Community Health Center on the Hilltop of Tacoma. She told me that she had cancer and was only getting the care she needed because of the Medicaid expansion that occurred under the Affordable Care Act. She told me, “For me, this is life or death.” Another person that day told me about her daughter who had bipolar disorder. She said her daughter was getting the care she needed because of the protections of the Affordable Care Act.

I wasn’t in Congress when the Affordable Care Act passed. I don’t think it’s a perfect law. But it has undeniably made real progress for a lot of the folks I represent, including the families I mentioned above. I’m ready to make improvements to the law. In fact, I’ve sponsored several bills to try to reduce health care costs for small businesses, improve access to primary care, and strengthen care in rural areas.

But I can’t vote for something that’s going to move us backward. Here are a few of the key problems:

I’ll continue to stand by my belief that there are reasonable proposals to improve the law, and that I’m open to considering them. Please know that I’ll push for policies that move us in the right direction.