Issue Position: Healthcare
Chris Dodd is one of of the Senate's foremost leaders in improving the quality and affordability of health care for all Americans. He has authored and sponsored numerous bills to control skyrocketing health care and prescription drug costs. These include innovative legislation to increase the use of information technology (IT) in health care, which can improve the safety and quality of care, and reduce its cost. Senator Dodd has also supported efforts to improve the safety and efficacy of medicines, as well as to lower their costs.
Senator Dodd is a leader in efforts to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens, children, are not left behind when it comes to health care. The Senator has authored legislation to help guarantee that prescription drugs are safe and appropriate for use in children, to increase the screening of newborns for genetic disorders, to expand research into the causes and possible treatments for premature birth, and to make sure that the needs of children are a priority in the event of a terrorist attack. He also played an instrumental role in enacting legislation to extend health care to millions of poor children.
Senator Dodd believes that Americans should not have to sacrifice privacy and confidentiality in order to receive good health care. Indeed, in his view, patients will only make use of the best medical technologies and techniques if they are confident that their privacy will be protected. For that reason, he has consistently fought to ensure that patients themselves control who has access to their private, sensitive, personal medical records. Similarly, Senator Dodd co-authored legislation to ensure that individuals' genetic information is protected, and to prohibit discrimination in employment and insurance on the basis of such information.
* Universal Responsibility: Ensure universal affordable quality coverage by creating a Health Care General Fund (HCGF) to serve all Americans. Then, require employers to either cover their employees or contribute to the fund. Individual Americans not covered by employers will be required to purchase insurance from the HCGF at a price based on his/her fixed percentage above poverty. With universal responsibility, no American will be turned away.
* Assisting Small Businesses: Exempt businesses employing less than 10 workers from contributing to the HCGF. Provide federal assistance to businesses employing between 10 and 30 workers.
* Focusing On Prevention: Integrate clinical information tools, monitoring technologies, and care management into the system, and encourage screenings, timely visits to the doctor, and early treatments that keep chronic diseases under control.
* Building On What Works: Extend Medicaid to adults who make 100 percent above the poverty line and to children whose family's income is up to 300 percent of the poverty line.
* Driving Down Costs: There is enough money in the system to solve the health care crisis. We will utilize 21st century technology to give hospitals comprehensive diagnostic and treatment data, so as to avoid duplicative and unnecessary treatment and services that waste precious resources and drive up costs.