I am committed to taking bold action to address the climate crisis, reduce waste, better regulate pesticides and PFAS chemicals, and protect the Chesapeake Bay.
Everyone should be able to get healthcare when and where they need it regardless of ability to pay. I think single payer is morally, logically, and economically the best way to achieve that. The insurance industry adds no value to healthcare; there’s nothing that can be achieved through insurance that can’t be achieved more simply and economically by a single-payer system. In fact, insurance actively harms people, because their business model and their profits depend on targeted denial of care.
Eliminating the insurance layer will achieve cost savings through eliminating the need for profit, simplifying billing and administration, and ability to negotiate. It will also achieve cost savings by encouraging people to seek treatment earlier before a health issue reaches the need for emergency care. The question is not “how can we pay for it,” but “how can we afford to continue the status quo.”
Achieving single-payer at the state level is more complicated than it would be as a federal program, but it can be done. Various sources outside of state control, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and federal employee insurance, must be accounted for in some fashion, through waivers or other ways of aligning them with the state plan. The ERISA law means that states cannot mandate that employers cease offering their own plans and participate in the state plan. However, much work has been done on overcoming these hurdles in other states, including Washington, New York, and Maine. By building on that work, Maryland can achieve a state-based single-payer healthcare system.
Equity must be baked in to any healthcare plan to overcome the vast healthcare disparities that are the consequence of centuries of systemic oppression.
Equity, Civil Rights and Social Justice
All Marylanders have a right to a fair and just society regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexuality, age, disability, income, religion, citizenship, or immigration status. I am committed to redressing the inequities that result from over 400 years of systemic oppression and ensuring that the law protects and supports all Marylanders. Equity is not a separate issue; every issue we work on must be viewed through an equity lens.
The current Supreme Court, dominated by radical-right activist justices, is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade when they return with a decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case. In Maryland we are better than many states, because the affirmative right to choose is codified in state law. But even here there is more work to do to ensure everyone has access to the services to ensure the full range of options to choose whether, when, and how to conceive, give birth, and raise a family, including the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
I will always stand up for the full range of reproductive rights and access. We can disagree on a personal level about abortion, but each person should be able to make the choice based on their own values and needs. The government should not be controlling our bodies and our lives.
Not only is reproductive care a right, but it's also basic and necessary healthcare. Everyone should have not only the guaranteed right, but the access to obtain reproductive care when and where it's needed. My Commission on Universal Healthcare bill will require that the universal healthcare plan developed by the commission will cover all reproductive care.