Securing Affordable Healthcare

Every Alabamian deserves access to high-quality healthcare at an affordable price.  We cannot afford to go back to a time when the insurance companies discriminate based on a pre-existing condition or charge unreasonable premiums to a vulnerable population. We must also hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for keeping the price of their drugs to a reasonable level to ensure the public good is never sacrificed in exchange for larger corporate profits.  A healthcare system that leaves large populations uninsured is not just morally reprehensible, it also is fundamentally flawed economic policy.  By improving policy coverage and incentivizing new insurers to enter underserved markets, we can further reduce personal bankruptcies, medical costs and premiums, and provide more effective patient care for better health outcomes.

Corporations and businesses can play a vital role in adjusting health care policy, cost, and outcomes.  Moving beyond the traditional wellness program, tax incentives should be available to business and corporations that invest directly in their employee’s well-being through common-sense strategies, providing health options to the employee at their job.  Employers should be encouraged and rewarded for offering employee benefits that include having on-site fitness centers and programs for employee use, on-site registered childcare to give parents of pre-kindergarten children affordable options and convenience, employer mandated lunch breaks for salaried employees and additional paid flex-time to reduce stress, offering healthy food options in employee cafeterias or break rooms, company-sponsored health education classes that focus on increasing awareness of nutrition and preventative disease, and instituting company policies aimed at avoiding work-related stress and fatigue.

These programs will benefit the employer’s bottom line beyond the tax incentives by reducing employee turnover and lowering health care costs through realizing better health outcomes.  These programs also benefit the employee through reduced stress, better nutrition, and increased time and convenience to exercise.

Affordable healthcare is an expense until you need it. Then, it becomes a blessing.
The right healthcare plan isn’t just about insurance, it’s about finding our way back to lower premiums and costs through smarter management of the public and private systems and targeted, pragmatic business incentives that allow Americans to lead healthier lives.