Health and Healthcare
Dr. Longjohn believes that access to high-quality and affordable health care is a human right. It is unacceptable that our ZIP codes tell us more about our family’s health than our genetic code. Everyone—regardless of age, income, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity—should be confident in their ability to receive needed care or preventive services, and not be forced to choose between obtaining essential health care and other vital daily needs.
Matt is one of a handful of people in U.S. history to have successfully demonstrated how health care can change for the better. Dr. Longjohn has shown how entry-level health workers hired by community organizations can help neighbors to avoid chronic diseases while also reducing health care costs. The power of community innovation needs to be unlocked in our health care system, and public health needs to be prioritized in ongoing health care reform efforts.
Dr. Longjohn believes that there is a need for constant vigilance to defend against efforts by Washington politicians like Congressman Upton to sabotage the individual markets, water-down the Essential Health Benefits that guarantee coverage for women’s health and preventive services, or to allow insurers to waive coverage for pre-existing conditions. Other immediate changes are needed in our healthcare system to reduce drug prices, secure resources for mental health and rural health care, invest in prevention services that will save lives and money, and to ensure we are rewarding providers for producing outcomes instead of just seeing a high volume of patients. Matt also believes we need a long-term strategy to expand Medicare and Medicaid and to reduce the role that employers play in health care decision-making.