“Ensuring that everyone can have access to quality, affordable health care is one of the most critical challenges facing our state and our nation. The landmark passage of the Affordable Care Act provides a major step in the right direction, however, there remains work to be done. As a member of both the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, I will continue to work to improve health care quality and coverage for all Americans.”
- Expanding access to quality health care while working to rein in costs.
- Ensuring access to mental health coverage and services.
- Supporting landmark research and technological advances to ensure access to the best health care possible.
- Working to address the shortage of health care workers.
- Supporting prevention efforts in order to not only decrease long-term health care costs, but also promote wellness, prevent disease, and protect against public health emergencies.
- Helped pass health care reform legislation that will ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care and will significantly reduce long-term health care costs. This law will also ensure that insurance companies can never again refuse coverage for preexisting conditions, cut off care when they decide you are too expensive, or discontinue care when you get sick. (For more information on health care reform, please visit our Health Care Reform Resource Center).
- Authored the Workforce Title in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee health care reform bill that served as the basis of the workforce section in the final law ensuring Americans have access to quality care provided by trained health care professionals, particularly primary care doctors.
- Worked with Senate colleagues to pass the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act which will provide the FDA with the necessary tools to support innovation and provide access to live-saving medications.
- Introduced legislation, included in the final FDA reauthorization, which ensures drugs and medical devices are specifically tested, labeled, and proven to be safe and effective for children.
- Championed legislation to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program and increase the number of children covered to almost 10 million, up from the 6 million previously covered.
- Helped pass the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act into law. This law, expanded in the recent health care reform legislation, requires health insurance to cover both mental and physical health equally. Under this law, insurance companies can no longer arbitrarily limit the number of hospital days or outpatient treatment sessions, or assign higher co-payments or deductibles for those in need of psychological services.
- Fought for increased funding for Community Health Centers and the National Health Service Corps, which work to improve health care access to medically underserved populations.
- Fought to secure funding for Title VII and VIII Health Professions, which support the training of nurses and other primary care medical personnel and help encourage health professionals to practice in medically underserved areas.
- Supported federal tele-health programs, which use technology to help people in rural or underserved areas get better access to health care services.
- Supported an investment in health information technology, which has the potential to improve health care by streamlining health information, reducing error, and cutting costs.
- Supported many bills to improve and expand treatment and prevention programs, which would save the health care system money and improve affordability.
- Authored the original authorization for poison control centers across the country and have worked with Colleagues to ensure continued federal support for these vital centers – which support poison prevention and serve as a lifeline in emergency situations.