As a former health care professional, one of my priorities in the legislature is to advocate for and protect the needs of health care consumers both in Hampshire County and throughout Massachusetts. During the Healthcare Reform debate, I was a member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance and was one of the legislators closely involved in crafting that landmark law. As a result of that effort, over 300,000 individuals in Massachusetts have become insured and I remain committed to ensuring that all Massachusetts residents receive affordable, quality healthcare.
To ensure the continued success of health care reform, I have filed legislation to expand access to health care services and to make care more accessible, cost efficient and affordable.
* I have introduced legislation this session that will ensure insurance coverage for treatment of patients with mitochondrial disease and with craniofacial disorders. I firmly believe that covering some genetic disorders and birth defects but not others is unconscionable. Why should some families have to deal with massive costs on top of the inherent challenges of these chronic conditions while other families receive full insurance coverage for similar disorders?
* I am the lead sponsor for legislation to make healthcare more affordable. As it currently stands, the definition of "affordability" only takes into account only the cost of health insurance premiums while excluding other real costs such as co-pays and deductibles. This bill would expand the definition of affordability to accurately reflect all health care costs consumers face, guaranteeing that the coverage Massachusetts residents obtain coverage is truly affordable to them.
* I am sponsoring three pieces of legislation, which would set standards for health care facilities and hospice programs to return certain unused pharmaceutical drugs and detail the establishment and operation of a drug repository program for returned pharmaceuticals. These bills are all aimed at reducing the high cost of prescription drugs, increasing patients access to the drugs they need, and ensuring patient safety throughout the process.