Issue Position: Rural Health Care

Issue Position

By:  Greg Walden
Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Location: Unknown

Greg Walden has opposed the government takeover of healthcare, but supports reform that tackles the big­gest problems, right now:

1. Give all individuals access to health care coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions.
2. Let individuals and small businesses group up to get coverage at lower prices, like unions do.
3. Provide assistance to those who still cannot access a doctor.
4. Protect and expand the doctor-patient relationship by putting patients before profits and politics.
5. Reduce junk lawsuits that drive up healthcare costs by billions of dollars a year.

Making coverage more affordable. The plan Greg Walden supports would reduce the cost of family premiums by $5,000 compared to Speaker Pelosi's plan. It prioritizes spending and is careful with taxpayer money, unlike the $1.3 trillion government takeover plan that heaps billions in debt on future generations.

Protecting seniors. Greg Walden has repeatedly voted to protect the Medicare program from damaging cuts that would jeopardize seniors' access to health care services. He opposed Medicare premium increases and a $500 billion cut to home health, nursing home care, rehabilitation, Medicare Advantage and hospital services that would damage benefits for Oregon's seniors.

Greg Walden voted to improve how Medicare treats seniors by ensuring that doctors have the resources they need to avoid rationing or closing their doors to seniors.

Ensuring access to quality care. Through Greg's consistent support of the community health centers program, Oregonians now benefit from 29 community health centers that deliver care at over 150 sites and serve 200,000 patients annually. And he has worked with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to ensure no one is ever denied care at rural hospitals because of inflexible federal rules.

The patient-doctor relationship. Greg Walden has voted to reign in junk lawsuits while protecting injured patients with compensation for medical expenses, the cost of future medical care, and lost wages. And he has worked this year to ensure that no Washington bureaucrat or politician comes between you and your doctor.

A voice for rural America. Greg Walden continues to advocate for representation for rural America on the panels that advise Congress on health benefits. For this work, the National Rural Health Association described Walden as a "rural champion." Walden, a leader of the bipartisan House Rural Health Care Coalition, has been recognized with awards from the following organizations:

* National Rural Health Association
* National Association for Home Care and Hospice
* National Association of Community Health Centers
* American Physical Therapy Association
* American Ambulance Association