I have spent my career working to ensure that our healthcare system works for all Americans, regardless of age, income, or immigration status. As the longest-serving Secretary of Health and Human Services in United States history, I worked to support HIV/AIDS research, doubled funding for the National Institutes of Health, achieved record levels of childhood vaccinations, and created the Children’s Health Insurance Program. As President of the University of Miami, I sought to make Florida a leader in cancer research through innovations at the University’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is now designated as a National Cancer Institute cancer center. Now, as a Member of Congress serving on the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee, I am using my experience to extend access to high-quality, affordable healthcare to all Americans.
Florida’s 27th District is home to the country’s highest population of individuals who are enrolled in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With nearly 100,000 people receiving healthcare through the ACA and many others benefiting from its increased protections, especially for those that have preexisting conditions, our local community depends on our work to defend and expand the protections established by the law many call “Obamacare.” During my first term in Congress, I’ve championed numerous bills to build on the ACA and improve our healthcare system:
· H.R. 3502, the Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act, will eliminate unanticipated bills for out-of-network care and establishes an independent dispute resolution process to help providers and insurers agree on payment rates while keeping the patient out of the process.
· H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, will require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices, provide inflation rebates to ensure drug prices do not rise artificially fast, and cap out-of-pocket spending under Medicare Part D. This bill passed the House in December, 2019.
· H.R. 3215, the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act, will ensure people who need to relocate to another state due to a natural disaster are able to maintain their full Medicaid coverage.
· H.R. 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act, aims to tackle youth tobacco use by raising the minimum age for tobacco purchase to 21, banning flavored tobacco products, and prohibiting tobacco ads that target people under the age of 21. The 2020 funding bill signed into law includes a provision raising the minimum age for tobacco purchase to 21.
Every American depends on our healthcare system for both routine check-ups and life-saving treatments. It is time we address the gaps in our current system and establish a healthcare program that truly works for all.