Here’s a little-known fact: Healthcare is the largest portion of the federal budget: it’s 27%, or just over $1 Trillion dollars. Next is social security at 24%, Defense at 15%, and then everything else. This $1 Trillion in healthcare spending isn’t even considering CHIP, ACA subsidies and other related spending. That’s more than the total spending on Education, Justice, Transportation, Agriculture, Energy, and all other non-defense cabinet departments combined. That means the health budget affects every budget.

My life’s work has centered on overcoming global financial barriers to care, so my goal isn’t to cut spending; I intend to make spending more effective so that Americans get better healthcare with money to spare for other programs. Since healthcare is such a large portion of the federal budget, there is a lot of room for improvement and a lot of opportunity for bad decisions. Yet, there are no health economists in Congress. There are a lot of lawyers and professional politicians, but no one with the knowledge and experience to look at our healthcare system as it is today and analyze what should be fixed and how to effectively fix it. Without that experience, Congress is rolling the dice with $1 Trillion dollars per year, and praying that everything turns out OK. And, not surprisingly, it hasn’t been working.

Our healthcare premiums are going up year after year. Patient outcomes are going down. People are getting sicker, not more healthy. New Mexicans are losing healthcare that they desperately need, and the costs are going so high that they have to decide whether to eat or pay for medication. This isn’t just unsustainable, it’s morally reprehensible!

I want to implement a single-payer system and I have proposals that could improve healthcare under any insurance system. If my initiatives saved
even 7% on healthcare spending that could double the Department of Education’s budget. I aim to use savings like that to bolster important
programs across our government. I believe healthcare reform is an attainable goal, and I have the expertise and experience to follow through on improvements that will benefit all Americans. I’m looking at things that have been tried in industry, other countries, and even here inside the US to find ways to cut costs, improve outcomes, and provide everybody the healthcare that they need. Here are three commonsense ideas which can be implemented TODAY, regardless of the type of healthcare system that we have, and these have been successfully used it other countries to solve their problems:

Compatible Electronic Health Records

Doctors waste time with health records that come from different places. A compatible format means they spend more time and resources on patients.

Stopping the Opioid Crisis

Providing doctors with continuing education and the latest research and strategies to deal with pain management can stem the tide of the opioid epidemic.

Combating the Physician Shortage

The cost of medical school pressures doctors out of general practice where we need them. Giving more lower-interest federal loans to physicians mean we train more doctors with less debt.