Too often politicians translate “promote the general welfare” into “control every aspect of the lives of our citizenry”.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was no exception.  It was neither about being affordable or about healthcare when it was implemented.  Premiums and deductible costs for individuals, families and businesses were being driven higher every day.  The healthcare system in the United States has been too bureaucratic and expensive for far too long. Obamacare no longer needs to be repealed, but changes are necessary in the current healthcare plan. Instead of the old top-down approach to healthcare, we need to open up the system to innovation and competition. It’s simple: decrease cost, give more choice, and provide better care. By creating more transparency, our country’s healthcare system will be more patient-centered and less controlled by bureaucrats. We the people should have the freedom and flexibility to choose the care that is best for us; not the care someone in DC decides they think is best for us.  As we get older, Medicare should give us more choices too – at every step, we should be in the driver’s seat.  It’s time we open up the industry to innovation and competition. It’s time for Congress to keep its promise in fixing a broken healthcare system by using a new dynamic approach.

Personalized Healthcare.

More government bureaucracy decreases efficiency and access.  Being able to choose your healthcare plan – instead of having one chosen for you by the government – empowers you to choose the care that is best for you, and your budget by expanding the use of health saving accounts.  Encouraging competitive, market based approaches to the healthcare system allows people to choose what type of coverage they need at a price and at a plan that fits their lifestyle and health.

Mental Health 

27,173 Americans died by suicide in 2017.  Think about that number for a second. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.  In Utah we have the 5th highest suicide rate in the nation. A nonprofit called Mental Health America showed Utah ranked 50th, the lowest rank, in a national analysis that measured each state’s rate of mental illness.  More than 28% of adolescent girls reported they had seriously considered suicide in the previous two years. 1 in 4 of our Utah teens are struggling with mental health and have seriously considered suicide. We have got to put an end to this epidemic.  We are losing our country’s most valuable resource – Indeed, we are losing our future. I believe this can be, at least in part, attributed to the devaluation of life and continual push to erase God and self worth from the lives of our children. When people don’t have a purpose, they lose their reason to live.  We must return to the judeochristian values that built this country and help our citizenry have hope in the future once again.

Drug prices and how to decrease them (Insulin Case Study)

There are more than 30 million Americans with diabetes, a disease that costs the U.S. more than 327 Billion per year. Every living person needs insulin to live – but diabetics cannot effectively use insulin produced by their own bodies, if any is produced at all.  This requires diabetics to obtain insulin through the “health-care system” in which prices have skyrocketed in the past decade. In 2009, a 10 milliliter vial of many fast-acting insulin brands cost less than $100. Today, many, if not all brands cost up to and on some occasions more than $300 dollars a vial.  (this isn’t sounding very affordable to me) An average diabetic uses 2-3 vials of insulin per month so, the cost is equivalent to that of rent or a mortgage. Many awful stories around the country have surfaced about people living with type 1 diabetes dying because they are forced to ration insulin until the next pay day.

We should allow prescription drug imports.  In Canada, people pay almost ten times less for insulin than they would have to in the U.S.  And yet, it is illegal to import prescription drugs from the North border. This is where there is room for advancement and adaptation.  There have been bipartisan efforts in Congress to permit American consumers to buy prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies to bring them home for personal use.  But when we have Americans dying because of the problem created after the wake of the ACA, it’s time to put a stop to government intervention. In Trump’s State of the Union speech he said, “ It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drug, often made in the exact same place.”  I agree!

Opioid Crisis 

Under the Obama administration, in 2010 there were 16,651 people dead from drug-induced overdose.  Heroin was involved in 3,036 deaths. In Obama’s last year in 2016, 19,413 individuals died as a result of synthetic Opioids.  In 2016, 170 thousand people used Heroin for the first time. The economic cost of the Opioid Epidemic is 504 billion a year. It’s time to re-educate our loved ones and our kids about these dangers, because obviously, what has been done in the past no longer is effective.  I support President Trump’s initiative to tackle the Opioid crisis facing our country.

There is a place for the federal government in medicines and health.  That place is to eliminate barriers that prevent our citizens from getting the medications they need at a price they can afford. We don’t do this through more regulations.  We do it through less. Regulations should keep the products safe, not make them unreachable. I fully support President Trump’s right to try and prescription drug initiatives.