What Democrats propose for medical research, healthcare workers, and veterans

Twenty veterans and service members take their life every day. We will treat suicide as the public health crisis it is, invest in mental health and suicide prevention services, and work with our military communities to encourage and support those seeking help, connecting them to critical services.

Welcome Home Heroes- military sign at a VA medical

In this post we’ll consider the Democratic party platform statements on medical research, the healthcare workforce, military and veteran healthcare, and global health challenges.

Investing in Health Science and Research

Scientific research is at the heart of medicine—and of health care. Democrats want the United States to be at the forefront of scientific research and discovery for the benefit of our people, our economy, and our global competitiveness.

Democrats will

support increased and sustainable funding for health and medical research and federal grants across agencies, including at the National Cancer Institute and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the CDC, and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.

increase the federal investment in research and development for new medications through the NIH, and make sure that there is a return on that investment for taxpayers.

build on the foundation of the Obama-Biden Administration’s Cancer Moonshot to break down silos and accelerate research into cancer and cancer treatments by creating an agency with the sole mission of finding new cures and treatments for cancer and other diseases.

Democrats also support

increasing funding for research into health disparities by race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, geographic area, and socioeconomic status, with a focus on how the social determinants of health contribute to differences in health outcomes.

fully integrating people with disabilities in all stages of health and medical research to ensure outcomes reflect the true needs of Americans with disabilities.

Democrats will take steps

to increase the diversity of principal investigators receiving federal grants, and participants in federally supported clinical trials,

to improve the quality and applicability of our medical research for women and people of color,

Democrats will

protect the independence and intellectual freedom of scientists, whether employed by the federal government or receiving federal grants, and

take steps to shield our scientific research agencies from future political interference.

Photo by Laura James on Pexels.com

Strengthening and Supporting the Health Care Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has made plain to people across the country that our health care workers are heroes. Our doctors and nurses, our home health aides and physician’s assistants, our public health professionals, our home care workers and nursing home workers, and our cleaners and service workers have shown up to work every day despite dire shortages of personal protective equipment.

Far too many of them have lost their lives to this terrible disease, and untold thousands are suffering the mental and emotional strain of losing far too many patients.

And yet, despite the critical role they play in our society and our economy, these frontline workers—a majority of whom are women of color—are often underpaid and lack access to paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, health insurance, and other benefits critical for their own health and the health of patients.

Democrats believe that

all jobs in the caring economy must come with family-sustaining wages, good benefits, access to paid leave, fair and predictable schedules, access to training and professional development, and the ability to join a union and collectively bargain.

all employers funded by taxpayer dollars must pay their workers at least $15 an hour and protect workers’ rights to organize.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Although health care jobs are among the fastest growing in the economy, demand for services still far outstrips supply, especially in primary care.

We will

invest in community health worker care-forces around the nation proven to prevent, manage, and better treat chronic illnesses, and

empower first-time mothers with home visiting.

close provider gaps and increase diversity in the health care profession by creating a robust pipeline of talent with career ladders for advancement.

increase opportunities for community health workers to come from the communities they serve.

Keeping Faith with Our Veterans and Military Families

Democrats believe that our force is stronger when it reflects the richness and diversity of American society, and when we treat our service members, veterans, and their families with the dignity they’ve earned.

honoring our active military and veterans

We will

protect and enhance opportunities for anyone who can meet the standards to serve in combat roles, and

fight the scourge of rape and sexual assault in our military, end retaliation and impunity, and take care of survivors.

reverse the Trump Administration’s hateful transgender ban, discriminatory exclusions in military health care, and policies that stigmatize and discriminate against people living with HIV and AIDS, and

ensure that LGBTQ+ service members and families enjoy equal respect, benefits, and care.

Democrats believe that the world’s best fighting force and its veterans deserve the world’s best health care.

We will

rebuild trust in, and accountability at, the VA (Veterans Administration) —not privatize it.

modernize VA facilities and bolster funding to the VA as part of a nationwide infrastructure plan, expand eligibility for VA benefits so that all veterans can access the VA, and

work with Congress to eliminate VA cop-pays for preventive health care for veterans.

ensure that VA benefits address the full needs of our women veterans, including reproductive services, and that every veteran receives comprehensive and culturally competent care and benefits regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and eliminate transgender exclusions.

We will combat veteran homelessness, including by converting VA facilities into housing.

Twenty veterans and service members take their life every day. We will treat suicide as the public health crisis it is, invest in mental health and suicide prevention services, and work with our military communities to encourage and support those seeking help, connecting them to critical services.

Mobilizing the World to Address Transnational Challenges, Global Health and Pandemics

The human and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency of strengthening the global public health system—and the consequences of America’s disengagement from the world.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Democrats will take overdue steps to ensure our government is not caught off guard by public health threats, at home or abroad.

We will

revitalize and expand the Obama-Biden Administration’s Global Health Security Agenda, immediately restore the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense.

mobilize allies, partners, and international institutions to develop a more robust and effective global public health system.

work to help the United Nations improve its facilitation efforts in public health crises,

establish a Global Health Emergency Board to harmonize crisis response for vulnerable communities.

fully resource the WHO, especially its Contingency Fund for Emergencies, while supporting fundamental reforms and mechanisms to enhance accountability and protect experts from political pressure.

support the development of a vaccine accelerator to ensure rapid, equitable, and affordable global access to vaccines, therapeutics, and supplies.

reaffirm our commitment to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and help realize the promise of an AIDS-free generation.

And we will help the world eradicate tuberculosis, malaria, and polio, as well as preventable maternal and childhood deaths.

exploring the HEART of health

Here is another post in this series you should read

The Democratic Party- “Universal Health Care”

Democrats will keep up the fight until all Americans can access secure, affordable, high-quality health insurance—because as Democrats, we fundamentally believe health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the few.

As in the previous posts, the photos are for illustration only; the links are for information only, not endorsement.

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a world globe with two crossed bandaids

Doctor Aletha

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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