Too often, daily controversies covered on cable television or debated on Twitter fail to reflect issues that matter to everyday families. When I hear from Arizonans across our state, they want to discuss how to expand job opportunities, the importance of keeping our communities safe, and — most often — the need to make health care affordable.
Arizonans deserve leaders who break through gridlock and get things done — which is why I reject Washington distractions and partisanship. Instead, I’m laser-focused on finding bipartisan solutions.
Working with Arizona experts and colleagues from both parties, we’ve made important progress to make Arizonans’ health care work better. The president recently signed into law my proposals repealing the misguided and unnecessary Health Insurance, Medical Device, and Cadillac Taxes. These taxes raised health care costs and placed a burden on Arizona families, small business owners, and seniors.
Over the past seven years, in both the Senate and the U.S. House, I built bipartisan coalitions and successfully delayed these taxes from impacting Arizonans. One of my first actions as Arizona’s senior senator was assembling a coalition, including Republican Sens. Cory Gardner and John Barrasso, to introduce legislation permanently repealing the Health Insurance Tax. We also championed bipartisan legislation to repeal the Medical Device Tax, protecting over 17,000 Arizona jobs. And together, we cosponsored a bill to repeal the Cadillac Tax and provide relief to Arizonans who get their health insurance through work.
I am proud of our success stopping the Health Insurance, Medical Device and Cadillac Taxes, and much more must be done.
Over the coming months, I will use the same bipartisan approach to continue protecting Arizonans with pre-existing health conditions, advance commonsense solutions to slow the rise in health care premiums, end surprise medical bills, and make prescription drugs more affordable.
An important next step is cutting red tape to prioritize medical innovation. Arizona is home to cutting-edge medical technology. Removing bureaucratic burdens can drive down the cost of critical medical devices, so Arizonans suffering from chronic conditions can access treatments, stay at their jobs, and live with less pain.
Congress must address the cost of prescription drugs. Today, even Arizonans who have insurance sometimes struggle to afford the medicine they need. That’s why I’m pursuing policies to ensure life-saving drugs like EpiPens and insulin are affordable and available to Arizonans — especially our seniors.
We must also expand the physician and health provider workforce in rural communities by encouraging doctors and nurses to study and train in our state. We’re addressing the caregiving burden in Arizona through a series of bills that promote best practices for professional caregivers while increasing support for family caregivers, especially those that care for their aging and veteran loved ones.
We are off to a strong start making health care more affordable and accessible for all Arizonans — and we won’t stop there because this is the kind of work that matters.
It matters to Arizona families, it matters to Arizona seniors, and it matters to everyday Americans across our country. It is the kind of work that will make a difference, and it is exactly what I’ll keep focusing on as Arizona’s senior senator.
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is the senior U.S. senator from Arizona.