In 2020, the future of health care is on your ballot

America’s health care system is at the root of every political question — from the coronavirus response and the economy to our national security. Without access to quality and affordable health care, Americans cannot succeed.

While then-candidate Donald Trump was mounting his historic presidential campaign in 2016, I was practicing medicine and caring for patients in central Pennsylvania, working in our nation’s broken health care system and fighting every day for my patients.

Four years later, much has changed — both in my own life and in our nation; and yet, health care remains the paramount issue in this election.

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Now in Congress, I am proud to serve as one of the few policymakers who have navigated America’s health care system as a doctor, a patient, and a legislator. It is my privilege to work alongside President Donald Trump to deliver results for American patients.

In his first term, President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE has worked hard to lower prescription drug costs, expand Americans’ health care choices, and invest in lifesaving innovation for the 21st century. He signed landmark legislation including Right to Try and the childhood cancer-fighting STAR Act into law, offering hope to American patients and their families. The Trump administration also has undertaken unprecedented efforts to combat the drug crisis, as well as to support hurting families and Americans in recovery.

Republicans know that improving America’s health care system goes beyond repealing the less than-Affordable Care Act. It’s imperative that we enact solutions to protect Americans with preexisting conditions, lower health care costs, and affirm patients’ ability to make choices that work for them. To put it simply — if you like your doctor, you should be able to keep your doctor.

Health care is also a matter of national security. Especially as Americans continue to combat the coronavirus crisis, we must prevent future pandemics from reaching our shores. Now more than ever, American leaders must act to secure our supply chains — especially for medicines and other health care supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) — and return the manufacturing of these items back to America and to our allies. Our nation can no longer allow the Chinese Communist Party to control Americans’ access to medical supplies.

As President Trump and Republicans in Congress stand up to China, protect Medicare, and safeguard seniors’ access to quality and affordable health care, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration Sidney Powell withdraws 'kraken' lawsuit in Georgia MORE continues to embrace the radical left and its spiral toward socialized medicine.

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Vice President Biden and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisScalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration McConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag Howard University's marching band to escort Harris at inauguration MORE (D-Calif.) are running on stripping Americans of their private health care, killing Medicare as we know it, and putting an end to American innovation.

Socialized medicine is proven to be innovation-killing sabotage. Here’s the truth — creating a government-run health care “public option” would destroy the private market, resulting in fewer cures, less progress and even less hope.

As our nation wages war against a pandemic, this is the very worst possible moment to give up on America.

Even as Biden says “no miracle is coming,” American researchers and scientists are working tirelessly to develop a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine. As part of Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership designed to deliver results, our nation’s top experts are in pursuit of an effective vaccine, while following every safety protocol to produce a quality product.

If any nation in the world can develop and distribute a safe and effective vaccine for a novel virus in record time — it’s America. We know that our nation can succeed, because we’ve overcome challenges before.

Not that long ago, polio outbreaks tore through American communities, disabling an average of more than 35,000 people — especially children — each year. Then, in my home state of Pennsylvania, Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine in 1954 and changed the course of history. Thanks to Salk’s skill and dedication to the cause, polio was eliminated from the United States in 1979 — ending this scourge and saving lives.

From eradicating diseases to inventing innovative cancer treatments and leading the global development of lifesaving cures, Americans have proven that they will always rise to the challenge.

In this election, we’re facing a choice about the future of our nation — and the future of American health care and innovation. Our long tradition of progress will not survive Biden’s descent to a government-run health care system.

Americans must decide. Will we lead or will we follow? Will we fight for innovation, or will we settle? Will we save lives? Or will we sit back and allow opportunities to pass us by?

This is the time for choosing. Vote as if your access to quality and affordable health care, innovative treatments, and lifesaving cures is on the ballot — it is.

Joyce represents Pennsylvania’s 13th District. He serves on both the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Small Business Committee, and also is a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus and the China Task Force. Before running for Congress, Dr. Joyce practiced medicine in Pennsylvania for over 25 years.