I know from personal experience what happens when health care is a privilege for those who can afford it, rather than a right for all citizens. My family has suffered under stifling medical debt, resulting from both injury and illness. It is a fate that no family should face. Yet too many hard working people see their savings wiped out, all sense of financial stability erased, all because of a diagnosis.
I believe that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that all of its citizens have access to the resources and opportunities they need to survive and prosper in our society. Healthcare is absolutely a necessity of survival and it should be treated as a basic human right.
We pay more for healthcare than any other country in the world, but by most measures, we get less care, and are less healthy. We are at the mercy of for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies who make their own rules and put profit ahead of people. Our system is a waste of money and it is costing lives. We need a better way. By removing the for-profit middle men, consolidating the buying power of our entire Commonwealth, and enabling a single government institution to administer and negotiate for healthcare, we can bring our costs closer to what the rest of the world pays. That could mean cutting health care costs in half for most Virginians. And, it means that everyone pays a fair amount, and everyone gets coverage. It is the right thing to do, and the fiscally responsible thing to do for our state.