I think it’s time to move beyond the partisan debate over healthcare policy and agree on some basic principles, and solve problems.

Healthcare is not a right per se, however, it is a necessity for many Americans who live with conditions, such as Diabetes, and who need access to regular care.

The public has an interest in promoting affordable healthcare access to individuals who need it.

We should focus on how much care is essential, what kind of regulations can enhance access to and reduce the costs of essential care, and how we can accomplish this without imposing an unwelcome financial burden on taxpayers.

I think we can all agree that:

  1. Every American should be able to access quality, affordable healthcare.
  2. Access to health care should not burden current taxpayers or future generations of Americans with today’s excessive costs.
  3. No American should suffer or die from a reasonably preventable or treatable illness.
  4. No American should be unable to make ends meet from out-of-control medical bills.
  5. No business should struggle to keep up with health insurance premiums.

I think we need to restructure the healthcare system, moving routine and well-established procedures into less-costly clinics and private practices. We should empower skillful individuals, such as nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, to practice developed medicine (treatment regimes with well-defined protocols), and working with doctors in a collaboration to serve the healthcare needs of our people. I think we need to take a business approach to healthcare, get rid of the excessive overhead, and run a leaner healthcare system.

For example, hospitals are preventing Advanced Nurses (nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives) from performing many of the tasks that they are trained to perform merely because the hospital can obtain a greater fee from Medicare / Medicaid when the same task is performed by a doctor.

In another example, doctors are paid a “fee for service” and are burdened by fear of malpractice lawsuits, each of which tending to result in recommendations that a patient undergo excessive and unnecessary diagnostics and treatments, increasing unnecessary healthcare costs.

There are so many areas where healthcare overhead can be reduced, resulting in more affordable healthcare for everyone. If elected, I will work with Advanced Nurses and others “in the trenches” to identify solutions and propose real options in Congress. I will negotiate legislation which reduces costs of healthcare to make healthcare insurance more affordable to all Americans.

Healthcare is a daunting problem but I believe that with some effort we can come up with bi-partisan and practical solutions.