"Like most Vermonters, I believe affordable access to quality health care is a fundamental right of all Americans. My work on this critical issue -- in Vermont and now in Congress -- has long been guided by three principles: everyone must be covered, everyone must contribute based upon his or her ability to pay, and coverage need not be related to employment. I will continue to push for comprehensive reform of our health care system to achieve quality, affordable care for all Vermonters and all Americans. And I will continue to bring Vermont's values and successes in improving health care to the national stage."
Spotlight on Health Care
In November 2009, the House passed historic health care reform legislation. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Welch incorporated several Vermont ideas into the legislation. Rep. Welch helped author a provision of the bill to create a pilot program that promotes Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which rewards the quality and efficiency of care, rather than the volume and intensity of services. Building on these important reforms is necessary to reduce the rate at which health care costs are growing. He also successfully worked to allow young people through the age of 26 to remain on their parents' health plans, and repeal the health insurance industry's exemption from anti-trust regulations.
Today, Rep. Welch is continuing to fight to reduce health care costs, improve the quality of services, and increase access. He currently leads bills in the House that would expand the use of telehealth services, provide crucial support for rural health care providers, and reduce the cost of prescription drugs by requiring the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.