All Americans deserve to have access to quality, affordable health care in their communities
All New Mexicans and all Americans have a fundamental right to quality, affordable health care in their communities. That includes rural and tribal communities, which often lack access to care.
We all know someone who we care about who hasn’t gone to the doctor because they couldn’t afford the deductible or copay. As a cancer survivor, I understand how costly getting sick can be. That’s why I voted to bring down health insurance premiums and lower insurance costs for millions of Americans.
I voted to cap out-of-pocket prescription drug payments and gave Medicare the authority to negotiate with drug companies so that prices can finally start coming down. If life saving or essential medications are out of reach, then what good are they to those most in need?
Like many New Mexicans, I know the pain of losing a loved one to illness. I lost both parents and my younger sister to cancer, and two brothers to addiction and substance abuse. I am committed to fighting for access to preventative health care and behavioral healthcare so that fewer New Mexican familias have to experience the pain that mine did.
Health care for all means access for all. It means a health care system that isn’t crippled by bankrupting deductibles and copays. It means nobody receives a surprise bill in the mail. It means investing in our health care system to improve the health and well-being of Americans, investing in innovative treatments and drugs that will save lives, giving providers the tools and freedom to do their jobs, and bringing down costs for hard working families.
Rural Health Care
In New Mexico, we know we need better access to health care in our rural areas. I’ve spoken to New Mexicans living in rural areas whose lives were saved because they had access to close health care services. But too many New Mexicans living in our mountain villages or small towns and tribal communities lack meaningful access to health care. I’ve fought to invest in rural health care, and am a staunch advocate for rural New Mexicans in Congress.
When the VA recommended closing down four veterans community-based health clinics in rural communities across our district, I successfully fought the proposal, and our clinics will stay open. We can’t just thank our veterans for their service - we must provide them with the services they have earned - and that includes ensuring access for veterans who live in rural communities as well as urban ones.
We need adequate funding for clinics in rural areas and better incentives for doctors to practice in rural areas, so that all of our community members have access to care where they live and work. We also must fully invest in behavioral and mental health services and address the epidemic of addiction and substance abuse that has hit our rural areas especially hard. We need to train more health care providers, nurses and technicians who come from and want to stay in our beautiful small towns and villages.
COVID-19 And Future Pandemics
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over one million Americans and cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars - and laid bare many of the problems and inequities within our healthcare system. As we continue to manage the current pandemic, we must prepare for and prevent the next one from occurring.
Preventing the next pandemic will require investing in science to study viruses in animal populations close to communities and reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases by addressing habitat loss and illegal wildlife trafficking. It will also require working collaboratively with our international partners to quickly identify and mitigate the spread of disease. The globalized nature of the world and quick spread of disease makes international cooperation critically important.
This pandemic has demonstrated the large inequities within our health care system - and in New Mexico, it has disproportionately affected rural, Native, Hispanic, and low-income communities. To overcome these inequalities, we must insist on a health care system that is actually accessible and affordable for every American, while strengthening our supply chain to ensure the quick and equitable distribution of health care resources and supplies. It is also crucially important to grow our health care workforce, invest in new treatments and medicines, and develop our nation’s domestic health care industry. These investments will create good-paying jobs at home and ensure that we have an independent supply of life-saving equipment and resources.
In New Mexico, we trust women to make personal decisions about pregnancy with their familias, their faith, and their healthcare provider - without government interference.
For the first time in history, the Supreme Court eliminated an established right under the constitution: the right to reproductive choice, and in so doing, has taken away half a century of the rights of women across our nation. I co-sponsored and voted for federal legislation to codify Roe v. Wade. We must protect reproductive freedom for every American.
Furthermore, contraception must be available and affordable, and every woman must have access to basic preventive health care that keeps them and, in turn, our families and communities healthy and thriving. I will keep pushing for this essential freedom until we can get it signed into law.
As a mother who managed a high-risk pregnancy, I know how important having the freedom to make decisions about my healthcare is. I will continue to be a powerful, committed voice in Congress on behalf of women’s health. The decisions that we make about our bodies, our families, and our futures are deeply personal - and those decisions must be protected, respected, and free from government interference.