Massachusetts is a national leader in health care coverage, but there is still more to do. In pursuit of universal coverage and cutting costs, we have put the insurance, not the person, at the center.
Catia has struggled to help a loved one find the mental health services they need, and she works in this field. It shouldn't be the case that you need a PhD to find a doctor. Catia has also seen how not getting the care you need can mean your health impacts other aspects of your life: your job, your housing, and even getting involved with police.
People don't get the preventive care they need up front, and end up sicker and needing more expensive, emergency services later on. We have wide racial disparities in health outcomes: more people of color are dying of COVID-19, just like more women of color are dying in childbirth than their white counterparts.
Catia will champion the idea that every Massachusetts resident can access and pay for high-quality health care, including mental health and substance use treatment.
Catia believes everyone should have the care they need, regardless of the color of their skin or their immigration status or their income or family or life circumstances. This is not just a matter of individual benefit. Our communities function better when people are healthy - people can work and maintain their housing, and healthcare is ultimately cheaper that way because we need less emergency healthcare.
Growing up, Catia watched her parents slowly recover from the financial burden of bankruptcy after her father nearly died and couldn't pay his medical bills. Life-saving health care should not be a financial prison for life.
You shouldn't need a PhD to figure out how to see a doctor. Catia will fight to make it easier to actually use health insurance when you have it by eliminating ghost networks, creating true mental health and substance use parity, and eliminating bureaucratic insurance practices like prior authorization for mental health services that get in the way of people's health.
Life saving drugs shouldn't only be available to those who can afford them. Catia will take on drug prices by tackling the intermediaries who sell to pharmacies and reap hidden profits ("pharmacy benefit managers"), and by addressing the profit motive in how drugs are produced and distributed.
Catia has personal experience being unable to get a loved one the mental health treatment they need, even while she is currently designing mental health services that would address the exact challenge her loved one faces. Catia will invest in mental health and substance use treatment, including mental health urgent care, mental wellness and resiliency education in schools, and promoting scientifically supported harm reduction models like safe consumption sites.
More diversity in the healthcare workforce is needed to support a range of needs among residents from language barriers for non-English speakers to cultural competency to care that supports people who have traditionally felt left out (LGBTQ communities, for example, face significant barriers to care due to poor understanding among providers). Catia will promote strategies that diversify our healthcare workforce.