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HEALTH CARE

I am a proud member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which provides me with an opportunity to work with my colleagues towards passage of important health care legislation.

I have sponsored a number of bills in the health care space in an effort to improve health care for all Americans. For example: 

I am the author of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. This bill would ensure there is a well-trained workforce available to afford patients comprehensive symptom management, clear communication and greater care coordination. The bill has received the support of more than 218 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and has been endorsed by more than 40 organizations, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Heart Association. 

Medicaid

I have long been a supporter of Medicaid, as I recognize that Medicaid is not just a critical safety net for the 70 million Americans currently enrolled: it is a promise to us and to future generations that our country will not forsake us if we fall on hard times.

This vital program continues to be the embodiment of President Truman’s vision in his Economic Bill of Rights, providing the assurance of “health security for all, regardless of residence, station, or race--everywhere in the United States.”

Health Care for 9/11 First Responders

I worked tirelessly to reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. A long-term extension of the Zadroga Act was overdue, and I am thankful we have finally committed to providing health care to the thousands who risked their lives on September 11. These men and women have sacrificed their health and their well-being in service to this country, and in return they deserve all the support we as a grateful nation can provide.

The Affordable Care Act Has Improved Health Care for New Yorkers

As a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I was pleased to help craft, and later vote for, Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010.

The ACA provided affordable health insurance to more than 20 million Americans. The landmark law also prohibited annual or lifetime caps on care, outlawed insurer discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, required coverage for preventive health services at no extra cost, and ushered in many more protections that ensure Americans get quality care for their money.

More than 100,000 New Yorkers living in NY-16 have gained health coverage through this life-saving law. Across our state, premiums are half of what they were pre-ACA. Seniors in the Medicare “donut hole” have saved more than $23.5 billion on prescription drugs. Americans don’t need to pay out of pocket for services like flu shots – and the list goes on.

While, like any major legislation, the ACA is not perfect, it has made our health care system better. I believe Democrats and Republicans ought to work together to improve the law and build on its historic progress.

My Efforts to Protect the Affordable Care Act

I believe every American should have access to quality, affordable health care. As such, I have consistently fought back against Republicans’ efforts to repeal the ACA:

  • I voted against Trumpcare when it came before the full House on May 4th.
  • I criticized House Republicans’ decision to hide their health care plan from public view. For nearly a decade, Republicans have castigated the process by which the ACA was enacted. Yet, over the course of 2009 and 2010, the Democratic House held 79 bipartisan hearings and markups on health insurance reform. House Republicans, however, did not hold a single hearing on Trumpcare.
  • I fought alongside my fellow Democrats for more than 24 hours to underscore Trumpcare’s dangers as it was considered in the Energy and Commerce Committee. During that marathon session, I spoke out against GOP plans to restructure Medicaid and repeal the Medicaid expansion, policies that will harm seniors’ access to long-term services and supports, and a senseless recession of funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • I offered an amendment to Trumpcare that would have required the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to assess whether the bill’s Medicaid changes might force hospitals into the red, or to close their doors altogether. According to America's Essential Hospitals, Trumpcare “could place a heavy burden on the safety net…our hospitals could not sustain such reductions without scaling back services or eliminating jobs.” I felt we ought to ensure the GOP bill wouldn’t inhibit hospitals’ ability to care for our constituents. But Republicans defeated my amendment on a party-line vote.
  • I decried Senate Republicans’ hypocritical plan to consider Trumpcare behind closed doors, without input from a single woman or Democrat.