I have a solid understanding of healthcare issues and how they affect Mississippians. I sat on the subcommittee that develops the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services for twelve of my thirteen years in the U.S. House of Representatives and was the Chairman of Public Health Committee during my time in the State Senate. As a member of Congress, I voted to create the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, ensuring our state's children have health insurance coverage and our seniors do not have to choose between buying groceries and paying for their prescriptions.
For a variety of reasons, Mississippi has a very high incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. I am working to make sure Mississippi is home to the latest research on how we can curb the obesity epidemic and its related diseases. Research is only one part of the answer. Our state is medically underserved, and we have significant problems with access to care. We must provide more incentives for doctors to practice in Mississippi.
One of the biggest health concerns facing our nation today is the lack of affordable health insurance coverage. Despite multiple sources of health care coverage, millions of Americans remain uninsured, and our health care costs continue to rise. The nation’s health care system needs reforms so that those uninsured Americans who want coverage can find it at an affordable rate. I believe we can accomplish these goals and provide coverage to every American without creating a government-run system. To help achieve this goal, the first bill I introduced in the Senate was the Making Health Care More Affordable Act, which includes six steps the federal government should take to help provide affordable coverage to more Mississippians.