America’s health care system is one of our greatest strengths and one of our greatest liabilities. Our doctors are capable of providing the very best care in the world. Our pharmaceutical companies have created miracle drugs that no other nation could have conceived. Yet we pay far more for health care than any other nation on the planet, with no measurable payoff in lives prolonged or health improved. Worse, we leave millions of our citizens uninsured – an appalling situation that is only partially addressed by the Affordable Care Act.
This state of affairs is nonsensical, morally reprehensible, and financially wasteful. The fact is, there is a proven, effective way to hold down the cost of health care – a method embraced by many nations throughout the world, and a method that the United States has already implemented successfully for our senior citizens through Medicare. That method is simple: single-payer, universal health care.
I have long supported Medicare for all, and I will fight in the Senate to advance the day when America has truly universal access to health care.
Until we reach the day when every American has access to Medicare-style health coverage, we must at least protect Medicare for our senior citizens who already depend upon it.
In the Senate, I will fight to strengthen Medicare. Today’s Medicare does too little to coordinate care for patients, and it fails to help doctors and seniors make the decisions required to ensure dignity as health fails.
Yet let’s be clear: Medicare is a resounding success story. It has done a better job of restraining health care costs than private insurers, and it has done so while providing decent, affordable health care to every senior in America.
I will always oppose the plans of extremists such as Paul Ryan who would abolish traditional Medicare and replace it with a voucher program.
I have never understood the notion that I, as a man or as a lawmaker, should have the right to deny women control of their own bodies. To the contrary, I believe that women have the intelligence, the integrity, and the decency to make health care decisions without government interference.
I believe that all women should have access to preventative health care, including birth control – and that their employers should not have the right to deny them such care.
In the Senate, I will fight to ensure that women have the support they need in moments of crisis. I will work to guarantee that victims of rape and sexual assault have access to emergency contraception, and I will work to increase the Victims of Crime Act fund, which provides federal support to many state and local programs that assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.