I am a physician. I take care of sick people. And I am fed up with America’s systems making people sicker.
Let’s be clear: we have rules and regulations attempting to make using care as difficult as possible – a cynical attempt at reducing healthcare utilization in our state and country.
Not too long ago, I met a woman who had complained of abdominal pain and progressive weight loss for years. She had ignored signs of colon cancer because cost put the evaluation she needed out of reach. I treat patients with arthritis, unable to afford medications or specialists. I see working-class adults suffering from back and neck pain for years because the expense of physical therapy keeps relief out of reach.
We can do better. And we will.
Our country must move towards Medicare for All.
This means Congress should pass a Medicare for All bill that truly expands access to care and meaningfully engages on social determinants of health such as housing, poverty, food insecurity, and education.
As we move down the path towards Medicare for All, we need to be practical about the realities of the pace of social change. Congress should also pursue changes to our current system that will immediately improve the health of communities because we maintain a moral obligation to help families now.
If Congress can’t pass Medicare for All right now, they should fight for these changes immediately:
Lowering Medicare’s eligibility age to 50
Expanding access to mental health services
Expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage to one year
Protecting the federal Title X program
Reducing prescription drug prices
Protection against balance billing by insurance companies
Improving health outcomes through value-based payment
WHERE PRITESH TALKS ABOUT THIS:
Let’s address hunger and other community determinants of health
Texas Medical Association:
Allow Adolescent Mental Health Screens During Each Annual Exam
OTHER KEY ISSUES:
In the weeks and months to come, I will publish more pages with my thoughts on a range of policy topics – from foreign policy, to equality, to our climate, to ethics in government.