Issue Position: Healthcare
An effective advocate for affordable, quality health care for New Jersey
Rush Holt believes that everyone in America should have access to quality health care. It is simply unacceptable that here in the wealthiest nation on earth we have approximately 40 million people with no health insurance. It is unacceptable that so many of those who need health care the most, children and senior citizens, are unable to afford it. It is unacceptable that Medicare, the program so many seniors rely on, does not cover the cost of prescription medications available that would allow them to live longer, healthier lives. Although it is an uphill battle, Rush has fought at every opportunity to extend medical care to as many people as possible.
Health care is more than a political or academic issue to Rush; his wife, Margaret Lancefield, is a physician. Rush's commitment to improving America's health care system stems both from principle and from first hand knowledge of the state of medical care today.
Rush has fought to provide prescription drug coverage under Medicare, so that seniors will not have to face a choice between their health and financial disaster, and he will continue to support an affordable prescription benefit under Medicare which will offer real relief to seniors struggling with high prescription costs.
Rush believes medical decisions should be made by doctors and patients. He has fought hard to ensure that doctors are allowed to exercise their medical judgment free of interference from insurance companies or HMOs. Rush was an original co-sponsor of the Bipartisan Managed Care Improvement Act and he has been a leader in the fight for the Patient's Bill Of Rights. These measures would hold HMOs accountable when they make decisions which cause harm to a patient, and they try to ensure that when it comes to medical decisions affecting your health, the final decision lies with you and your doctor. Rush also supported the Quality Health-Care Coalition Act, a measure which protects physicians from being second-guessed by business managers in the exercise of their medical judgment.
Rush is a consistent supporter of the health and reproductive rights of women. He votes against measures which would restrict family planning decisions. Rush is a co-sponsor of the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act, which requires health care providers to cover contraception costs.
With his background as a research scientist, Rush understands the potential for advancements when the federal government supports scientific research. He has led efforts to invest in research at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Science Foundation, and he has supported funding targeted at specific illnesses, including breast cancer, diabetes and alzheimer?s disease.
As your representative, Rush has also fought for direct aid for health care in central New Jersey. He has obtained $500,000 in federal funding for the Hunterdon Medical Center, and when Medicare denied payment to Princeton Medical Center for millions in services over a technical billing procedure, Rush's intervention obtained millions of dollars for the medical center.
Rush Holt's training as a research scientist gives him a rare perspective among his colleagues in the House of Representatives when it comes to understanding the complex issue of health care in America. In addition, Rush has created a Health Care Advisory Committee composed of local professionals and experts to advise him on issues affecting central New Jersey
Health care is an enormous and complicated issue, and one of vital importance to everyone. Rush Holt has the dedication, the convictions, and the professional knowledge and experience to tackle this complex issue and fight for fair and effective solutions for central New Jersey and the nation.