From soaring prescription drug prices to skyrocketing premiums and surprise medical bills, South Carolinians are struggling. Nearly 100,000 families in the Palmetto State lack any realistic access to health care at all, and millions more face mounting costs for even basic checkups.

As a public servant who has fought for the working people of Florence my entire life, I know that we need a leader in the White House with the courage to stand up to the pharmaceutical lobby and special interests in order to protect working families.

That’s why I’m endorsing U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris for president.

Kamala has spent her career standing up to the for-profit health care industry. As attorney general of California, she won more than $320 million from predatory insurance companies that were taking advantage of the elderly and people with disabilities. While campaigning last month in the Pee Dee, Kamala talked with thousands of people and underscored her commitment to treating health care as a human right.

Kamala also recently unveiled her plan, “People Over Profits,” to finally stop giant pharmaceutical companies from taking advantage of hard-working Americans. For too long, drug companies have made record profits while our loved ones toss and turn at night, wondering how we’ll afford life-saving prescriptions and somehow manage to put food on the table.

Kamala’s plan outlines how she would work with Congress to require that prescription drugs are priced fairly, but she’s not willing to wait around for Congress to get its act together while insurance companies continue to extort working people. If Congress fails to act within the first 100 days of her presidency, Kamala will take executive action to investigate predatory pharmaceutical companies for price gouging in order to lower the cost of life-saving drugs.

Of course, cracking down on abusive drug companies is only part of the solution to America’s health care affordability problem. The staggering costs of seeing a doctor in the first place — high co-pays, steadily increasing premiums and surprise bills — all must be dealt with.

In South Carolina, many of our leaders have refused to expand Medicaid, leaving almost $15 billion in federal dollars on the table as people in our state lack basic access to health care. That’s unacceptable, which is why Kamala supports building on the Affordable Care Act to enact Medicare-for-all, a system that would eliminate premiums and out-of-pocket costs and save our hard-earned wages.

Her plan is bold, and it requires a fearless leader who isn’t afraid of putting people over profits. Kamala’s agenda, from lowering the cost of prescription drugs to providing the most significant middle class tax cut in a generation, is centered on the problems that keep working people up at night. She calls it her “3AM agenda,” because as she’s traveled from Florence and Hemingway to towns across the Palmetto State, she’s talked with thousands of families who wake up in the middle of the night struggling with the same problem.

We don’t lack good ideas. We lack courageous leadership. Thankfully, in Kamala Harris, we have both.

BILLY WILLIAMS

Florence