Having served as the assistant ranking on the House Healthcare & Wellness Committee has given me a strong understanding of our healthcare system in Washington State. I meet regularly with major healthcare providers, insurance carriers, and ordinary citizens concerned about their health coverage.

I believe every resident of Washington should be in charge of their own health care decisions. You should have available to you a variety of insurance options that meet your needs and budget. I am dedicated to finding innovative ways to increase access and reduce costs to consumers. One such idea is to allow Washingtonians to buy health insurance plans in other states, similar to the way car insurance is purchased. Raising the smoking age to 21 is another way we can help lower costs and prevent high school students from smoking cigarettes. The healthier our children and adults are, the lower our healthcare costs will be in the long term.
Lastly a big focus of mine has been on mental health.

While mental health isn’t always on the front page of the newspaper, it affects millions of Washingtonians. Our state has made mental health a priority and I am proud to be a leader in passing mental health bills such as Joel’s Law, which allows an immediate family member to petition for court review of a designated mental health professional’s decision not to seek involuntary commitment of a person who suffers from mental illness. Or HB 1450 which modified involuntary outpatient mental health treatment provisions related to persons in need of assisted outpatient mental health treatment being committed to less restrictive treatments. Mental health will no longer be ignored.

I will continue to work on healthcare and mental health issues and try to lower costs to make plans more affordable.