DeFazio has long fought to give all Americans access to affordable health care. With passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, DeFazio was instrumental in making sure the new law treated Oregonians fairly.
DeFazio fought to include language in the final bill that will increase payments to hospitals and doctors around the country that serve Medicare patients. Seniors in Oregon and 16 other states have for years been hurt by an unfair reimbursement formula and will finally see relief.
Most recently, he led the fight to repeal the health insurance industries exemption from antitrust laws. He was instrumental in getting this provision included in the original House health reform bill. When the Senate stripped these reforms from the final health care bill DeFazio successfully pushed it through the House on February 24 by a bi-partisan vote of 406 to 19.
He has authored and introduced in several Congresses, the Access to Medical Treatment Act, which guarantees patients the right to choose alternative and complementary treatments and to give licensed health care providers the right to recommend and provide these treatments
As a member of the Rural Health Care Caucus, DeFazio has actively promoted legislation to increase Medicare payments to rural health care providers to ensure the continued availability of quality health care. In 1999, DeFazio pushed through legislation that helped reopen Cottage Grove's only hospital.
As a member of the House Working Group on Mental Illness, DeFazio has worked to gain full health care coverage for mental illness.
DeFazio also authored legislation which became law in 1998 to require the registration of the sales of all chemicals used to produce methamphetamine.