There's a saying that goes "once a nurse, always a nurse" and that couldn't be more true as I apply my nursing background to my role in reforming health care. As a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee, I am working hard in Congress to increase access to affordable health coverage and quality health care for everyone.
Our nation's health care system is broken, but through health care reform we are now taking critical steps to repair it. The new law, the Affordable Care Act, makes significant investments into improving the health of our nation and controlling health care costs. Moreover, the new law shifts our system from a sick-care system focused on the number of services you receive, to one that promotes prevention, wellness and improved quality of care. The reforms in this law will benefit the health of our communities and our economy by reducing the long term deficit.
As a legislator, I often call on many of my experiences as a nurse in understanding the health care field. In particular, I have focused on issues relating to heart disease, maternal, infant, and child health, cancer, and work-force issues. I am a co-chair of the House Cancer Caucus, as well as the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, and was a founding member of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, the Infant Health and Safety Caucus and the School Health and Safety Caucus.
Health Care Reform:
The Affordable Care Act makes significant investments into improving the health of our nation and controlling health care costs. The law strengthens the health insurance coverage most people already have, while enabling small businesses to provide affordable coverage to their employees, and providing affordable health insurance coverage to the millions of people who currently lack it.
The law includes the Patient's Bill of Rights, which will end the most egregious abuses of insurance companies and ensure that everyone can get insurance coverage and, most importantly, know it will always be there when they need it. And, it includes important provisions to expand our health care workforce, training our next generation of doctors, nurses, and allied-health professionals. It will also make it easier to access preventive health care services by eliminating co-pays for important recommended screenings such as those for heart disease or cervical cancer. For seniors, the law closes the Medicare Part D "donut hole" and extends the financial solvency of the Medicare program by cracking down on waste fraud and abuse. Finally, the bill is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to lower the deficit by over $140 billion over the next 10 years.