I believe healthcare is a human right. It is the ultimate statement that we, as a society, will look out for each other, and make sure we don’t needlessly die simply because we aren’t wealthy enough to afford to live.
Our healthcare programs are woefully underfunded, and not just hospitals, but also home health care, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and others. With an aging population, we need to make sure we have a system that can take care of our older neighbors and provide appropriate support without bankrupting families. Many seniors do not need the full-time care of a nursing home and could be better served for less cost with scheduled home health care workers. See more about Senior Care here.
We need to expand our Medicaid programs to cover more of the population, with the goal of universal coverage for everyone in Illinois. We should not have our population dependent on their jobs providing insurance, or worrying that if they are in a job that doesn’t provide insurance (including those that work for themselves, work at home, are full-time caretakers of either children or parents, etc.) that they can’t get treatment when they know they should. Nobody should have to wonder how bad they can let a health problem get before seeking treatment because it might financially ruin them.
Even with private health insurance, people often face these same problems. Many insurers will only cover a portion of certain procedures, or have a massive deductible, or simply choose not to cover certain areas of health. It is unacceptable that insurers routinely do not consider your eyes or your teeth to be a part of your health. It is unacceptable that insurers will often cover medications or surgeries, but not [therapists, counselors, psychiatric treatment] <>, and so many other forms of healthcare that we know are effective and necessary. We should require that insurance policies in Illinois cover peoples’ comprehensive health.
These policies touch on every aspect of our lives, including children’s education<>. Studies have shown that many children, especially in lower income areas, go without proper vision screenings and glasses. These uncorrected vision problems mean they often literally cannot read the board, lose the lesson, and perform worse in school from that point on. We should provide vision screenings and glasses to every child in Illinois, so they have the opportunity to become an educated adult.