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Issue Position: Health Care

Issue Position

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Smith Seeks to Expand Investment in Health Care

Modern medicine has come a long way, helping many Americans lead healthier, longer and more fruitful lives. However--with nearly 47 million uninsured persons living in America--it remains true that not everyone has benefited from those advancements.

Having significant gaps in the American health care safety net is unacceptable in a society with the collective resources with which ours is blessed. Therefore, I am adamant about protecting programs like SCHIP and Medicaid because they cover millions of adults, children, seniors and persons with disabilities who may not receive necessary care without them.

Likewise, I believe it is absolutely essential that we expand funding and support for Community Health Centers, which have proven to be highly effective in providing primary and preventive care to more than 15 million individuals--many in underserved communities.

Just as we must protect, expand and increase funding for programs that assist the uninsured, we must also commit to finding prevention methods, treatments and cures for diseases and conditions. Compassion calls us to invest resources in these areas as this is crucial to reducing the long-term financial strain on families and the health system.

Experience has clearly demonstrated that we must invest in research today that will yield the cures for tomorrow. For this reason, I have consistently supported efforts to increase investment and expand federal biomedical research programs.

To that end, I am the prime author of the nation's first law to support the use of ethical, life-saving stem cells, the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-129) which authorized $265 million dollars for umbilical cord blood collection and storage and reauthorized the National Bone Marrow Registry to make cord blood and bone marrow stem cells more readily available for treatment and research.

In addition, I have authored laws and legislation to fund surveillance, research, treatments, and interventions for diseases with rising prevalence rates in New Jersey and that are having a disproportionate impact on New Jersey residents, including autism and Lyme disease.

I serve as co-chairman of four Congressional caucuses that actively work to increase funding and support for autism, Lyme disease, Alzheimer's disease and Spina Bfida. Through aggressive efforts to address these individual diseases and afflictions--as well as others with soaring pervasiveness--we will reduce the prevalence and mitigate the costs of care for the thousands in New Jersey who suffer from them.


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