Healthcare for all is a concept enshrined in our Declaration of Independence.
Access to care should not be determined by how much money someone has in the bank, or whether or not their employer offers insurance. No one should ever have to choose between their prescription medication and groceries for their family. And no one in America should die from a treatable disease, simply because they couldn’t afford healthcare.
Members of Congress in both parties should be debating how to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all Americans. Instead, President Trump and his administration are lining the pockets of insurance executives and lobbyists by allowing insurance companies to offer healthcare plans that don’t cover basic health needs. President Trump is systematically dismantling the regulations built into the Affordable Care Act that kept premiums low and plans affordable — and the Republican-controlled Congress has done nothing to stop him. Fewer insurers are willing to participate in the marketplace due to the White House’s moves to destabilize the system, resulting in fewer options for consumers, higher premiums, and sub-standard care.
The thing is, Americans don’t believe that insurance companies should dictate their care. Americans know that a pre-existing condition shouldn’t stand between them and the treatments their doctor recommends. Older Americans have come to rely on Medicare, low-income folks depend on Medicaid, Veterans have access to the VA, and children — when the government funds the program — stay healthy through CHIP. But this still leaves so many people out of the system. Everyone in America — regardless of age, income, employment, education, gender, race, or otherwise — should have access to the same affordable, quality healthcare.
No matter how we fund healthcare, we need to decide what is – and is not – up for grabs. No more boardrooms of men regulating women’s bodies.
Birth control is basic health care – your employer, regardless of their religious beliefs, is not your doctor.
New Hampshire’s opioid and addiction crisis is not a criminal justice problem, it’s a public health issue. Anyone who has been touched by the disease of addiction, whether here in my home state, or across the nation, knows that we cannot arrest our way out of this crisis. Addicts need access to rehabilitation and mental health services.
While Strafford County has been particularly ravaged by this epidemic, it has also been ground zero for the recovery movement and the diverse approaches necessary to fight this National Emergency head on.
When our healthcare and criminal justice system failed pregnant mothers struggling with addiction, community fought back. Kerry Norton took up the mantle of community and founded Hope on Haven Hill in Rochester to provide support for so many expecting and new mothers who are now completing a big step on their journey through recovery. SOS Recovery Community provides a collective and non-judgemental approach to the long-haul journey of sobriety and recovery. We are now making advances in the medical industry with a focus on treatment and recovery and not fueling this crisis.
These are the models and approaches for recovery that must be celebrated, utilized, and funded.
Criminal defense attorneys, medical providers, and the many big-hearted people committed to beating back the tide of the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire know all too well how difficult it is for an addict to find rehabilitation services. Folks who are ready to get clean experience long wait times for beds or openings in appropriate treatment facilities. Addiction and mental health services were increased under Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, and have helped so many Granite Staters reclaim their lives – Hope on Haven Hill would cease to exist without Medicaid expansion. It would be cruel to pull the rug out from under our state’s most vulnerable by rolling it back.