I use to manage several federally qualified health centers pre- the Affordable Care Act (ACA), so I understand what it means for the sick and indigent to have access to medical, dental, and behavioral health services. I was fortunate to participate in a White House youth summit convened by President Obama to discuss the rollout of the ACA. The number of uninsured nonelderly Americans decreased from over 46.5 million in 2010 (the year the ACA was enacted) to just below 27 million in 2016.

While I didn’t agree with the public mandate, I did agree with the spirit of this watershed legislation. The health of a democracy is determined by the health of its people and I believe the President understood that. I support protecting and expanding the ACA and a public health insurance option like Medicare. I would also support efforts to repeal the existing law explicitly barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug manufacturers.