A healthy community is the foundation for achieving all other goals and is essential for a productive society. Our economy relies on a healthy workforce. Our students need to be healthy to be able to succeed academically. Individually, good health relies on our bodies getting what we need. We must strive to give every member of this district an opportunity to be as healthy as possible, both physically and mentally. That means addressing key factors that can improve our health and protect our environment, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to expanding reliance on renewable energy sources to embracing cleaner forms of transportation.
As a father of a child with epilepsy, I understand firsthand the importance of innovative healthcare that is affordable and accessible. Healthcare is a right and not a privilege of only those who can afford it. Massachusetts stands strong as a leader in healthcare, but our state still experiences significant disparities in healthcare access and insurance coverage, as premiums continue to rise. As a state senator, I will work to drive innovation, efficiency, and availability to our residents. While I don’t believe we are politically prepared to adopt a single-payer healthcare system at this time, it is something we can and should work toward as a state and as a country. In the meantime, I will work with my colleagues to focus on reversing inefficiencies in our current system, seeking to drive down costs, increase innovation, improve outcomes, and expand access to all.
Serving on the Westford Healthy Communities subcommittee, I focused on creating a community where people live healthier lifestyles. Our Challenge Success program in Westford schools is helping to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for our children.
Every town and city in this state and in this country has been affected opioid addiction. I will join with my colleagues in fighting the opioid epidemic and striving to ensure our friends, family, and community members suffering from addiction receive the treatment and counseling they need to break the cycle and reclaim their health. As a state, we must expand access to physical and mental health treatment and focus on prevention, including alternatives to opioid pain management.
For a community, good health relies on our citizens getting what they need, not only to survive, but to flourish. We must continue to work together to ensure that we have the resources to address the unmet health needs that threaten the futures of individuals, families and communities.