Patients First

Every healthcare reform plan in the past decade has put “suppliers” like hospitals, insurers, and drug companies first. My plan puts the customer first: the patient. By refocusing on the demand side of the equation, we can put patients and doctors back in charge of their healthcare.

All the plans we’ve seen so far try to do everything at once and end up doing nothing well. My plan is thoughtful and understands that one 2,000 page piece of legislation makes our problems worse, not better. In order to never lose sight of putting patients first, we tackle the healthcare challenges in three manageable steps:

Strengthen Medicaid: Instead of the current “one-size-fits-none” top-down federal approach, each state gains control of its own Medicaid budget. It allows Arizonans to decide how to use those dollars to best take care of our citizens across our vast state, from urban dwellers to our rural Native American populations. These 50 laboratories of innovation across our country will create great value in the system allowing us to better serve our most vulnerable populations.

Health Insurance That Works: My plan improves access, lowers premiums, and provides portability so people can pursue jobs of their dreams without fearing the loss of their healthcare benefits. It modernizes health insurance policies so that they offer the flexibility and functionality of every other type of insurance product. It provides lifelong, affordable, and portable coverage that suits each unique phase of life from young adulthood to retirement. It avoids the current insurance “death spiral” by creating a robust insurance pool where the products are appealing and affordable and participation is incentivized but not mandated.

Do the Right Thing: My plan protects patients and families with pre-existing conditions. As a practicing physician at the largest safety net hospital in the state, I see the backwards way we currently care for patients with pre-existing conditions or who lack health insurance. While we ultimately care for them, it’s only after they’re forced to defer care until crisis sets in: 911 calls, ER visits, surgeries, ICU stays, and poor outcomes. It’s tragic. Patients needlessly suffer and the taxpayer is stuck with a huge bill. It’s a lose-lose. We must care for patients proactively, not reactively. Our safety net must care for those who can’t afford insurance and we must provide high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions. Everyone wins when we take care of patients before they reach a state of crisis. It’s a moral obligation that makes good economic sense.

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