AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE HEALTHCARE

 
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“Healthcare to me is a deeply personal and communal issue. It is
an essential human right. And the facts are clear: Everyone from small business owners to
hardworking families will benefit when all Michiganders have their basic healthcare needs
met without the burden of figuring out how to pay for it.”

I believe that healthcare is an essential human right. That’s why I support single-payer healthcare.

No one should be denied healthcare because of their age, income, or pre-existing condition like asthma, heart conditions or cancer. I will fight to protect Medicaid and for insurance plans to be required to cover birth control and reproductive health care.

Healthcare should be affordable. No one should go bankrupt because of medical bills. When it comes to healthcare, people must come before profit. I am committed to a non-profit, state-run single-payer health plan, and to helping ensure that all of the hardworking families in the 18th State Senate District and across Michigan are healthy, safe, and financially secure.

Everyone deserves to have coverage for mental health programs, counseling, substance abuse, and preventative care. Too often, these essential parts of health and wellness are overlooked. Additionally, those facing serious and life-threatening illnesses should be able to undergo alternative and experimental treatments without unaffordable price tags or unreasonable delays due to insurance bureaucracy.

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As someone who has started two socially conscious small businesses dedicated to health and wellness,  I will bring my experience as a problem-solver to the State Senate.

In 1997, I started my first company, Moon-Baked Creations, while I was grieving the passing of my sister in a car accident. I wanted to help people engage using art as therapy to improve mental health and build community connections.

Ten years later, I started BollyFit, a fitness and dance studio in Ann Arbor. We mobilize thousands of Michiganders to feel healthier through grassroots community organizing. As a mom, I have particularly focused on empowering women and children to be healthier mentally and physically, and to realize their untapped potential.

I was appointed to the Governor’s statewide council on physical fitness and the State of Play task force formed by the Ralph C. WIlson Foundation, CFSEM, and Aspen Institute on the health and nutrition of Michigan’s youth and underserved populations. In 2015, I received a Congressional Award and was inducted into the Michigan Indian Women’s Hall of Fame for my contributions to health and wellness in Michigan.

It’s going to take real-world experience and innovation to make sure that everyone in Michigan has high-quality healthcare. I’m looking forward to this challenge in the Senate.

 

MY PLAN

1. Single-payer healthcare. I believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. We need a non-profit, state-sponsored single-payer healthcare plan. As a first step, I will introduce a bill to evaluate alternatives, costs and benefits of a single-payer plan.  Legislation has already passed with bipartisan support in Minnesota and Massachusetts. Both states found that single-payer would reduce state health costs by hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

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2. Mental health and substance abuse treatment. We have a mental health crisis in Michigan. We also have an opioid and substance abuse crisis. Too many people with mental illnesses and drug addictions end up in jail or prison instead of getting the help they truly need. We need to stop stigmatizing people who are struggling and invest more in mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment.

3. Protect Medicaid. Michigan’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, known as Healthy Michigan, is a great success story. There are now 700,000 more people with healthcare coverage. I will fight any cuts to Medicaid, including work requirements, which will only mean fewer people getting good-quality medical care.

4. Preventative Care and Wellness. We live in a stressful world. I started two businesses trying to help people find ways to deal with stress and improve their health and well-being. Mindfulness, physical fitness, nutrition, and social support programs can be part of a holistic approach to mental and physical healthcare. And I believe we need to invest more in preventative care, which saves money in the long-term and helps people live longer, healthier lives.

5. Birth Control and Reproductive Health. If we truly care about women’s healthcare, insurance coverage must be required to cover birth control; prenatal, maternity; and postnatal care; and abortion. I am strongly pro-choice and will vote to overturn the “rape insurance” banning insurers from covering abortions as standard care. I believe we need to invest more state dollars into Planned Parenthood.