Healthcare

The high cost of healthcare is a concern for all Americans. During my years in Congress, I have worked to lower the cost of healthcare for the people of the Second District. I supported the addition of a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. I am very glad to see that over 86,000 people in the Second District are now participating in this cost saving program. In fact, over 78% of Medicare beneficiaries in the Second District have prescription coverage from Medicare or former employers, the largest percentage in the Commonwealth.

In addition to prescription drug coverage, The Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), has allowed Medicare to offer more options for prevention, wellness, and disease management services. I was able incorporate a measure within the MMA, to provide daytime respite for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other serious chronic conditions
I was also a sponsor of the SAAAVE Act, legislation signed into law that provides free abdominal aortic aneurysm screenings for at risk patients at the time of their Welcome to Medicare physical. I also sponsored HR 4797, legislation to provide increased health service to low-income widows who require new coverage options upon the death of a spouse

I strongly support the expansion of President Bush’s Health Savings Accounts initiative, creating portable, non-taxed savings accounts that can be used to pay for medical and retiree health expenses. I am also an advocate for the creation of Associated Health Plans, allowing small businesses greater negotiating power with health providers so they may provide insurance coverage to all employees.


Other legislation supported:


- Consistently supported legislation to make health care more accessible, including improving accessibility to hospice care (HR 754), allowing Medicare beneficiaries to access physical therapy without a referral (HR 792), improving Medicare benefits for those with kidney disease (HR 1298), and providing a tax credit for individuals with long-term care needs to go towards health premiums (HR 2682).
- Consistently supported legislation aimed at bringing down the cost of health care, including medical liability reform (HR 5, HR 534), incentives to help small businesses provide health care to their employees (HR 450, 108th Congress), Health Savings Accounts (2003 MMA), and Association Health Plans (HR 525).