Keeping the Promise for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans
Last week, the House passed legislation to allow individuals to continue purchasing the health plan they have right now. However, it's not just individual market plans that may be taken away by Obamacare. Over the next year, many employer-sponsored plans may also end because of new regulations. Employers would be faced with a difficult to decision to purchase new, more expensive plans or pay a fine and let employees purchase coverage in the Obamacare exchanges. My colleague, Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), introduced the Employee Health Care Protection Act. The bill would allow health insurance currently available on the group market to continue to be offered. It is important that every American be able to keep an insurance plan if it is working well for them.
Encouraging Innovative Medical Apps
Smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate, but they are also having a big impact on medical care. Doctors and other health care professionals are increasingly using smartphone apps to diagnose and treat disease. This week, I chaired a Health Subcommittee hearing to look at how the Food and Drug Administration is planning to regulate apps. This is an innovative field and there is concern that the FDA doesn't have clear direction on how they should regulate apps. Our hearing discussed a bipartisan proposal to make things clearer for the FDA. I think this is an opportunity for us to work across party lines and with regulators to clear things up and allow innovators to move forward with confidence.
Subcommittee Looks Closer at Bill to Prevent Doping in Horseracing
This week, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a hearing to look at my bill to prevent doping in horseracing, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. My bipartisan legislation, which requires no taxpayer funding, would let the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency set rules for administering drugs to horses. Practically every sport has taken strong steps to prevent doping. However, in horseracing horses and jockeys are being hurt and even killed because there is no strong punishment for cheating. This hearing is the first step in the bill being considered by the House.
Ensuring Fair Immigration Policies for American Citizens and their Families
A caseworker in my Lancaster office who assists constituents with immigration applications noticed something curious in the past few months: applications for resident non-citizens (green card holders) to have family members visit the U.S. were being processed faster than the same applications put in by U.S. citizens. After inquiring about why there was a difference in the time for processing, the Citizenship and Immigration Services dedicated additional resources to process citizens' applications. Hopefully this will mean a fairer process that prioritizes citizens' applications. I'll be continuing to monitor this situation and make sure the government does the right thing.