Health and Wellness

Our healthcare system is broken — it doesn’t cover enough, it’s hard for Alaskans to find doctors and it’s too expensive for too many people. I know it because I’ve lived it. When I was pregnant with my second child, Sean, I stayed up at night worried that any complication would have meant bankruptcy for my family. No Alaskan should have to go through what we did.

Healthcare costs are also standing in the way of economic growth. Too many small companies are unable to expand their businesses. Employers are seeing labor costs explode, while wages remain stagnant. America’s healthcare dollars should be going to patient care, not Big Pharma and special interests.

Everyone deserves quality, comprehensive healthcare without worrying, as my family did, that they will not be able to pay for the care they need. Comprehensive healthcare must include coverage for illness and injury and also coverage for preventative care, maternal and reproductive care, mental health, vision, and dental. I know we can get there.

In Congress, I will fight Trump’s efforts to take healthcare away from Alaskans. That includes protecting people with pre-existing health conditions so they don’t lose their insurance and prohibiting lifetime limits on insurance coverage. Alaska’s current Representative in Congress just voted for huge cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which would affect more than 15,000 Alaskan children if they become law.

+ LOWERING COSTS

We must fix what is wrong with healthcare right now while also moving toward a comprehensive, long-term solution. One successful system here in Alaska is the Southcentral Foundation's “Nuka” model – a homegrown model of excellent care at a low cost that insures 100,000 people in the Anchorage bowl alone.

I support responsible action to bring stability to the system and lower the cost for all Alaskans, including:

  • Open health care exchanges across state lines so Alaska can team up with other small-population states to expand our coverage pool, which lowers expenses
  • Support legislation and policies to lower the cost of prescription drugs
  • Increase Medicare reimbursement rates so that they cover the cost of care for providers and make it easier for Alaskans to find doctors who accept Medicare

+ WELLNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH

Alaskans suffer from some of the highest rates of substance abuse, mental illness, and suicide. Intergenerational trauma, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse has contributed to these behavioral health problems. The movement of healing and ending cycles of abuse is beginning and needs support.

Prevention and treatment programs and additional behavioral health professionals are in desperate need across Alaska. We must comprehensively address the opioid crisis and strengthen access to treatment and recovery services.

We must change from the current system that compensates providers based on the volume of services they perform and move to one that compensates based on healthcare outcomes. I support federal policies that make it easier for people to get primary and preventative care to stay healthy.

+ WOMEN’S AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

We must insure that women have full, unlimited access to reproductive health services. I strongly support a woman’s right to choose and will fight to make sure that contraception is available to all and covered by insurance.