Reproductive Justice and Abortion Rights
People have an absolute right to make their own reproductive health decisions. Since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, women have had legal access to abortion services, but nonetheless, there have been persistent efforts on the state and federal level to make these services inaccessible. Monumental legislation like President Obama's Affordable Care Act has helped improve access to healthcare resources for women and expecting mothers, but there is more work to be done. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Ensuring unrestricted access to contraception and abortion services for menstruators without interference from clergy, employers, sexual partners, family members or political protestors.
- ● Repealing the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Amendment to allow the federal government to fund abortion services and refer Title X center patients to abortion providers.
- ● Meeting all Planned Parenthood’s federal funding needs and creating more federal grants for public health nonprofits. Planned Parenthood and other non-profits provide high quality and affordable medical care to patients who need care. Not only do they provide abortion services, but educate the public, provide birth control, and provide cancer screenings.
- ● Making it illegal to violate a patient’s privacy as outlined in Roe v. Wade by harassing any patient coming in or out of a Planned Parenthood, or any healthcare facility that provides abortion services.
- ● Upholding the Affordable Care Act statutes that subsidize birth control to anyone who needs it to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
At Friends of Intelligent Democracy, we believe that there is a universal right to healthcare. While Obamacare was successful in providing millions with health insurance, there are still millions of Americans that cannot afford copays and deductibles. No one should have to decide between their health or their wallet. The Democratic Party is the party of choice, which should apply to an American’s choice between public and private insurance. In a nation with some of the most developed medical technology and medicine, we believe in creating a system that promotes quality, accessibility, and meeting individual level needs. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Expanding Medicaid and Medicare programs.
- ● Supporting Medicare X, a buy-in to Medicare, and the market-driven transition to a universal healthcare system.
- ● Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Section 1557 of the ACA that protects against patient discrimination.
- ● Increasing price transparency requirements for all healthcare providers to prevent surprise billing.
- ● Increasing funding for federally qualified health centers to ensure they are able to treat all patients as they are the safety net of the American healthcare system.
- ● Expanding access to healthcare insurance for illegal immigrants, low-income people and other groups that are exempt from government health care insurance programs.
Veterans’ Health Care Services
After surviving on the battlefield, no veteran should have to worry about surviving at home. In recent years, there has been a call to address the mental health crisis facing millions of American veterans across the nation. It is time to combat this veteran mental health crisis by ensuring access to health services and promoting veteran mental health awareness. The Department of Veterans Affairs and its healthcare facilities should not be a place for privatization and profit. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Preventing the privatization of veterans’ healthcare and guaranteeing full medical coverage for all veterans.
- ● Guaranteeing access to mental health services for veterans suffering from PTSD and other mental illnesses.
- ● Providing and ensuring all veterans’ access to health care, regardless of discharge status, combat experience, etc.
- ● Requiring the VA to train community care providers to address the mental health care needs of members of the military and veteran community.
- ● Expanding alternative mental health therapies for VA medical facilities nationwide.
- ● Conducting mental health and suicide prevention through coping skills and self-referral services.
- ● Destigmatizing mental health treatment and injuries through open discourse with veterans, military members, and health professionals.
- ● Expanding mental health counseling for families of service members through programs as Military Family Life Consultants and Military One Source.
- ● Extending mental health services to members who were not called to active duty or federally activated.
- ● Funding innovative research for the use of cannabis and MDMA to examine proper efficacy to treat mental health diseases as well as other war wounds.
- ● Officially recognizing burn pits’ negative side-effects for service members.
- ● Funding research about the associations between airborne toxic exposures, burn pits, and diseases that are associated with such exposures.
- ● Ensuring burn pits and toxic exposure injuries are classified with disabilities.
Due to COVID-19, the U.S has seen many of the opportunities which can arise from the proper use of telehealth. We have made more progress in telehealth during COVID-19, than in the last ten years. COVID-19 has shown us that telehealth is an ideal way of improving access to care. In order to reap the benefits of this discovery, we must create policies and legislation that supports greater access to telehealth for all populations, as well as adoption by physicians, CMS, and private payers. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Ending the “originating sight rule” and strict rules regarding provider licensing across state lines for the delivery of telemedicine as it only serves to reduce access to healthcare.
- ● Increased funding for HERSA to allow increased accessibility to communities that may not be digitally literate.
- ● Allowing HHS to expand eligible telehealth providers.
- ● Ensuring federally qualified health centers have the resources needed to incorporate telehealth to serve underserved communities.
- ● Relaxing 1834M restrictions and DEA telemedicine prescribing regulations.
- ● Ensuring telehealth services are reimbursed properly by CMS and private payers to supporting increased adoption of telehealth by physicians.
- ● Improving broadband access for low-income communities so they may utilize telehealth services.
At Friends of Intelligent Democracy, we believe in a model of increased health care coverage that includes access to emergent and preventative health care services, as well as access to materials for optimal personal health. The high prices of drugs set by drug manufacturers prevent many Americans from accessing drugs to maintain their health. Extremely high price drugs are unlikely to be covered by insurance providers, inhibiting access for everyday Americans. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Altering drug patent provisions set by the Food and Drug Administration to increase the development of generic drug brands to increase access to low-cost medicine.
- ● Capping annual out-of-pocket costs on prescription drugs.
Vaccinations are a cost-effective, essential component of disease prevention in the United States that has led to the eradication of various infectious epidemics, such as smallpox and tuberculosis, which cause high mortality and morbidity amongst affected populations. Pseudoscience, fake news, and misinformation campaigns cannot be allowed to obstruct public health efforts. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Mandating vaccination for all children and adults except in the case of legitimate medical exemption.
- ● Charging parents with child neglect for not vaccinating their children except in the case of legitimate medical exemption.
- ● Awarding grants to community health centers to make sure every member of a community is vaccinated.
- ● Requiring that K-12 science curricula include education on vaccination, public health, and preventable diseases to ensure that every American is educated on the importance of vaccines and community immunity.
- ● Requiring that all American travelers to foreign countries with higher risks of diseases not often found in the United States are vaccinated before being approved to travel.
Physician Assisted Death
For some patients, no number of painkillers or therapy can help make an unbearable condition manageable. Any patient who is terminally ill or in constant, perpetual pain should be able to end their lives safely and comfortably. Every patient should be able to make decisions about their health and quality of life. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Legalizing physician assisted death nationwide.
- ● Allowing patients to make this decision with their doctor without any form of interference from family, clergy, etc.
Right to Try
Terminally ill patients should be given every chance to improve their lives and possibly cure their condition. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Maintaining the rules and regulations set forth in the 2018 Right to Try Act.
- ● Further support for patients seeking information on experimental solutions.
Safe Affordable Housing