Health Care Reform
On March 21, 2010, Rep. Israel voted in favor of comprehensive health care reform legislation. The legislation was passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Obama. Click here to read the bill.
As a result of the health care reform law, constituents in New York's Second Congressional District on Long Island will benefit in the following ways (click here to download the full NY-2 fact sheet):
* Improved coverage for 485,000 residents with health insurance.
* Tax credits and other assistance to up to 81,000 families and 21,000 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
* Improved Medicare for 102,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
* Extended coverage to 23,000 uninsured residents.
* Guarantee that 8,900 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
* Protection for 1,000 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
* Allowing 50,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents' insurance plans.
* Reduced cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $23 million annually.
For a timeline on the implementation of the health care reform law, click here.
And for Rep. Israel's Q&A on the health reform legislation, click here.
Help for Cancer Patients
Rep. Israel co-chairs the House Cancer Caucus. In this leadership role, he has introduced several bills to benefit cancer patients. You can watch Rep. Israel's remarks at a Susan G. Komen Rally for the Cure by clicking here.
In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), Rep. Israel's bills included the Access to Cancer Clinical Trials Act of 2009 (H.R. 716), which requires health care plans to ensure routine care coverage (doctor's visits, lab work, etc) for patients undergoing a cancer clinical trial; and the Assuring and Improving Cancer Treatment Education and Cancer Symptom Management Act of 2009 (H.R. 1927), which provides Medicare coverage for a 1 hour educational session for newly-diagnosed cancer patients. This session will help patients and their caregivers understand their disease and the effects of their treatment.
Taking on the High Price of Prescription Drugs
Affordable health care is increasingly dependent on affordable prescription medicines. Unfortunately, the cost of prescription drugs is increasing at double-digit rates. Rep. Israel believes we should fund research on the effectiveness of cheaper alternatives to heavily marketed drugs. He is also fighting the powerful drug lobby in Washington to permit the re-importation of safe, legal drugs from Canada, where American consumers can pay up to 50 percent less for their prescriptions.
Rep. Israel has also been a leader in ensuring counterfeit prescription drugs are eradicated as a threat to the American consumer. In June 2009, Rep. Israel re-introduced Tim Fagan's Law (H.R. 2726), which expands FDA authority to crack down on counterfeiting and increases criminal penalties for counterfeiters. To hear more about the legislation, watch Rep. Israel's video blog.
Protecting and Strengthening Medicare
On April 15, 2011, the House passed a budget resolution (H.Con.Res.34) that would end Medicare as we know it. Rep. Israel voted no and is strongly opposed to this plan. The proposal, introduced by GOP Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, replaces the current Medicare program with a voucher system that would force seniors eligible to enter the program in 2022 to buy their own costly private insurance. The Senate voted against the Ryan Budget on May 25, 2011.
Rep. Israel believes that Congress and the White House must work together on a plan that will protect and strengthen Medicare, but that ending Medicare's guaranteed benefit must be taken off the table.
Updated July 26, 2011