OP ED | By: US Renew Democracy News | July 11, 2023
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This is the 2nd in a series of US RENEW NEWS recommendations of platform positions for use by 2024 Democratic Party candidates.


The US healthcare system is extremely fragmented. Healthcare access varies from state to state and according to income level and racial and ethnic background.  We suffer from high rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes,  kidney and lung disease and stroke. Mental health problems and drug addictions are widespread.  Abortion recently has been stripped of its country-wide right by the Supreme Court. With the recent notable exception of insulin, most prescription drug prices are unregulated. Our public health system seems unprepared to deal with new diseases and pandemics.

The misshapen, unequal state of our health system calls out for the Democrats to make universal access to affordable health care (Medicare for All) a central part of their 2024 election platform. At the core of the platform should be a call for healthcare to be embraced as a basic human right,  be it through legislative action or a constitutional amendment. And a related call should be made for continued support for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) until Medicare for All becomes a reality.

The call for reproductive rights for women and the Supreme Court Dobbs decision (that reversed the Supreme Court’s decades long support for abortion as a federal right) should be another major component of the Democratic platform.

 Dobbs has proven to be a highly unpopular decision among women of all backgrounds. Coming out against Dobbs will help promote the turnout of women voters for Democratic candidates.

Democrats should announce their intention to build on the Biden administration’s success in reducing insulin prices and call for reductions in other widely used but overpriced drugs. They also should turn their attention to stronger regulation of drugs that do us harm, such as opioids.

The Party platform also might consider putting greater emphasis on preventive health care measures to help address the growing incidence of mental health behavioral problems and obesity in our country.  Such measures should also call for greater promotion of the use of existing and new vaccines that have proven to be effective in preventing disease, such as the Covid vaccine

And finally the party needs to give serious consideration to labeling gun violence as a public health issue that should be addressed by health professionals as well as law enforcement officials.

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