The future success of our American Republic rests with its most valuable asset, its citizens. For our nation to continue to lead the world, we need to put the health and well-being of our citizens first.
It is no secret that health care spending in America is out of control. In 2007, total health expenditures reached $2.2 trillion, which translates to $7,421 for every man, woman and child. Even so, millions of Americans are without health insurance and San Diego doctors are finding it increasingly difficult to care for our city’s most vulnerable residents. Let’s be blunt: the system is broken.
However, my philosophy is that we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. There is much about our system that works. We drive international health innovation with new drugs and new techniques that preserve and extend well-being. Most Americans who have insurance are satisfied with the plan they have now, and are not interested in risky experiments that would probably cost a great deal more and offer a great deal less.
My position of health care reform is that every American should have access to quality health care. I don’t believe that the government should pick our doctors or that insurance companies should be able to prevent access to needed services using pre-existing conditions to bar individuals in need from access to health care. Additionally, employers and employees should receive tax incentives for purchasing health care.
Another factor contributing to rising health care costs is lawyers in the operating room. Frivolous lawsuits by trial lawyers are causing massive increases to the cost of health care. There are countless examples of doctors being forced to give patients more and more expensive, unnecessary tests, simply because they fear the trial lawyers who make a living bringing frivolous lawsuits in such numbers that insurance companies have no choice but to settle them.
A strong and accessible health care system is a fundamental component of a strong nation. I am committed to working for real reform that will protect the doctor-patient relationship, but will not bankrupt patients or our economy in the process. American families deserve better.