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Issue Position: Health Care

Issue Position

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Across the nation, one out of every six Americans does not have health insurance and nearly 14,000 Americans lose their coverage each day. Sky-rocketing health care costs are hurting families, forcing businesses to drop health benefits and straining state budgets. Private health insurance companies continue to raise out of pocket expenses like deductibles and co-pays and deny coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions.

As my colleagues and I in Congress work with the President to pass Health Care Insurance Reform, I invite you to view the text of H.R. 3962 - The Affordable Health Care for America Act by clicking on the button below and to listen to my recent Telephone Town Hall that I held on November 3, 2009 for the 5th, 8th, 9th and 34th Wards in Chicago by clicking here.

Democrats in Congress and President Obama provided a large investment on children's health by enacting the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization into law on February 4, 2009. The program currently provides health insurance for more than 7 million children, but this legislation will protect coverage for those children and expand it to include an additional 4 million children who would otherwise be uninsured. The reauthorization of the SCHIP program presents an historic opportunity to put an end to the morally unacceptable fact that nine million American children live every day without insurance.

Congress is working to maintain Medicare's commitment to insure our seniors and reverse harmful cuts proposed by the Bush Administration. President Barack Obama announced today that states will be able to access the first two quarters of Federal Medical Assistance Percentage funding (FMAP) starting this Wednesday, February 25. FMAP - the federal match for Medicaid - helps pay for health care for the families struggling during the economic crisis and some of the nation's most vulnerable citizens. More than 49 million Americans rely on Medicaid for health care coverage and this funding could help 20 million more Americans get covered.

The Obama-Biden plan provides affordable, accessible health care for all Americans, builds on the existing health care system, and uses existing providers, doctors, and plans. Under the Obama-Biden plan, patients will be able to make health care decisions with their doctors, instead of being blocked by insurance company bureaucrats. I support President Obama 100% in his efforts to reform our health care system. I agree that our health care system needs a complete overhaul and I am eager to help produce legislation to assist the President in this endeavor.

More than 100 million Americans suffer from cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and other debilitating diseases and disorders for which embryonic stem cell research holds great promise in finding new and better treatments and cures. In June, 2007, the House passed legislation to expand the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research by lifting the restrictions on the embryonic stem cell lines that can be used for federally-funded research, which was vetoed by President Bush. Yet, President Obama made an executive order March 9, 2009 removing barriers to responsible scientific research involving human stem cells.

* "Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident. They result from painstaking and costly research - from years of lonely trial and error, much of which never bears fruit - and from a government willing to support that work. From life-saving vaccines, to pioneering cancer treatments, to the sequencing of the human genome - that is the story of scientific progress in America. When government fails to make these investments, opportunities are missed. Promising avenues go unexplored. Some of our best scientists leave for other countries that will sponsor their work. And those countries may surge ahead of ours in the advances that transform our lives."

President Barack Obama


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