At a time when health care is among our greatest concerns, the people of the 8th District need a representative who understands how to drive change in the system. Going from bedside to big picture is what’s allowed me to impact lives – from individuals to communities as a whole, and while I’m enormously proud of what I’ve done as a clinician, that alone does not qualify a person for public office. Our district needs a representative who knows what matters to people and how Washington works – one who has “been there, done that” when it comes to working across agencies, convening power, and driving partnerships for results. The machinations of Congress are not new to me. I’ve worked alongside senators and representatives of both parties to find new ways to meet the health needs of Americans. I’m not going to be learning on-the-job or star-struck by the spotlight. More than anyone in this race, I’m uniquely qualified to hit the ground running and start working for you from day one.
I became a doctor for the same simple reason I want to be your congresswoman: I want to help people. That’s why I’ve spent the last several decades working to improve health across the country and around the world. I’m an internist and a pediatrician who’s cared for both children and adults in clinics nationally and internationally, and worked in the private and public sector. I’ve helped clinics improve quality, supported them to become federally qualified health centers, and served as a Trustee of a safety net hospital during times of healthcare reform. I’ve served as a Commander in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (one of the uniformed U.S. services, along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Officer Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). I led the Division of Global HIV & TB at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), which consisted of a team nearly 2,000 strong and a budget of approximately $2.4 billion. I acted as the senior scientific advisor to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which contributed to more than 2.2 million babies being born HIV-free. I’ve worked under four White House Administrations. And as your congresswoman, these will be my health care priorities:
- 100% truly accessible, affordable, high-quality health care for all;
- Lowering drug costs by using the bargaining power of Medicare, and ensuring robust research and development of new drugs and devices without having consumers “pay twice”;
- Lowering premiums, especially for young healthy people, by allowing Medicare opt-ins at progressively younger ages;
- Lowering costs and improving predictability, by implementing price transparency, accelerating cost reforms that work to incentivize outcomes, modernizing fraud response, and exploring ways to increase provider-client time, while decreasing bureaucracy;
- Ensuring that the federal government provides flexibility and support to states that are pursuing single-payer or all-payer approaches to health care.