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Issue Position: Health Care Reform

Issue Position

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Date:
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Americans have the leading doctors, the most advanced medical technology, and the best hospitals in the world. It has not been uncommon for major government officials from other countries to come to the United States for their medical procedures.

While certain reforms were needed, we should have done this by working within and adding to the system we already had--not radically restructuring 17% of the nation's economy which is what President Obama's healthcare legislation did. Although our healthcare system wasn't perfect, it was still the best in the world.

I have heard from numerous constituents that this law is already having an adverse impact--insurance premiums are rising exponentially and are severely hurting the middle class. Although the Supreme Court has upheld most of the health law, I believe it should be replaced with incremental improvements.

Certain provisions of the Health Care bill that I have fought to repeal are the 3.8% unearned income Medicare contribution tax, which can apply to home sales and certain other transactions, and the 2.3% medical device excise tax which could result in loss of jobs, cuts to research and development, and increased costs to consumers.

I will continue to fight for and support reform measures that empower patients while simultaneously reducing costs including:

* Ensuring coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions.
* Eliminating lifetime caps.
* Providing for portability of insurance from one job to another.
* Fostering competition by allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines.
* Preserving a patient's ability to keep his or her health plan if they like it.

Drug Shortages

The recently enacted FDA Reform Act included crucial provisions from the Preserving Access to Life Saving Medications Act, which I cosponsored, to alleviate the drug shortage crisis.

Specifically, this law mandates that drug companies notify the Secretary of Health and Human Services of any discontinuance or interruption in drug manufacturing at least six months before the projected interruption. Additionally, it authorizes the Secretary to expedite the review of any drugs that could mitigate or prevent such a shortage. It also requires the Secretary to evaluate shortage trends and contributing factors, design a notification system for physicians and patients, and evaluate the impact of various regulations on shortages.


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