Colorado is often called the healthiest state in America-and in many ways, we are. But this doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges to meet and overcome. Public health is just that - health that affects all Coloradans. We need a comprehensive health perspective that encompasses everyone from childhood to senior health care.
Child Health Care
Although we are the healthiest state in America, we also have the fastest-growing child obesity rate in the country. We have the lowest vaccination rate in the country, putting infants and children at high risk for outbreaks of contagious dangerous diseases.
Leslie’s Plan- Investing in our youngest isn’t just about books and school supplies. Helping them achieve means helping them stay healthy too. My plan will:
collaborate with local communities to fund better access to sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and parks, so that children and families can walk safely to school, neighborhood stores, and other neighborhood amenities;
promote policies that preserve a parent’s right to send their son or daughter to school without having to worry whether they will contract a serious disease while still preserving parental choice for those with genuinely and deeply-held personal or religious objections to immunizations.
Recreational marijuana is also a public health issue. Colorado is doing a tremendous job leading the way for the rest of the nation in managing this new enterprise. At the same time, while we can respect the rights of responsible adults, we must be careful to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, including those of under-age children.
Leslie’s Plan - We can take a page from our successful fight to reduce tobacco use in children to help teach them the responsibilities around marijuana use. My plan will:
ensure that the state’s efforts to regulate the marijuana industry are adequately funded;
support best practices at adequate and appropriate labeling of THC content in all marijuana products;
implement appropriate regulations and enforcement of the same that keep marijuana out of the hands of children;
support efforts to pursue scientific medical studies that can help us better understand the effects of marijuana use.
While health care policy has never been more complex than it is today, our goals remain the same: better care at a lower cost. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a huge victory for President Obama and our nation. Today hundreds of thousands of Coloradans have health insurance who could not afford it in the past. Still, premiums increase every year, small businesses struggle to cover their employees and low-income families face serious hurdles in finding access to proper treatment.
Leslie’s Plan: We must continue to build on the President’s success with the ACA, to help Colorado families live healthier, happier lives. My plan will:
initiate and support policies that recognize health care as a fundamental right;
work with and support the Colorado Health Exchange and its efforts to render the service it provides more efficient and accessible for all Coloradans.
Women’s Health Care
An independent spirit and a profound respect for individual freedoms are part of the Colorado way of life. When it comes to women’s health, the government must respect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, including reproductive decisions. Our groundbreaking efforts to educate young women on the importance of reproductive precautions has shown huge success.
Leslie’s Plan - Colorado must continue to lead the way. My plan will:
promote policies that provide access and affordability to women’s health care;
support and fund the program run by the Department of Public Health to provide no-cost long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to young women;
challenge and oppose all efforts that attempt to limit a woman’s right to an abortion or other reproductive rights.
Whether in the workplace, the home or in our everyday communities, the stigma associated with mental health conditions persists. Every day, Coloradans struggle with balancing their needs for treatment with anxieties about risks to their homes, their jobs, their families and more.
Leslie’s Plan - With proper care, treatment and dialog, mental health conditions can be diagnosed and treated sooner and many of the repercussions can be avoided. My plan will:
advocate for increased funding for mental health initiatives and programs;
promote stronger investments in Medicaid and non-traditional services such as community treatment, youth care systems, and consumer-run services;
work with mental health advocates to develop a dialog on mental health issues as a means to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.