Where I stand on health care reform

Feb 17, 2017

I have spoken with and heard from countless people across our district about the upcoming changes to our health care system.  I want to take this opportunity to tell you I am listening to your feedback and let you know where I stand.

Regardless of political party, income, race, religion, or gender we all want to know more than anything that our loved ones are safe.  When difficult times come we need to know we will have access to the health care we need to take care of our family.  It is not surprising there is so much anger, concern, and fear over our country’s health care system.  While some people are angry because changes to their health plan have left them with coverage they cannot afford, others are scared because after finally having health insurance for the first time in years they fear it will be taken away.  Both scenarios leave us feeling helpless.

It is easy to say a bill or law is all good or all bad, but the truth is our current health system has benefitted some and hurt others.  We all agree that a person with a pre-existing condition getting to go to the doctor for a checkup is a great thing.  At the same time when a family of four can no longer see their doctor when hit with the flu because they cannot afford their insurance plan, they are much worse off than in previous years.  Health coverage you cannot afford to use is not coverage at all.

Recognizing the current health system does include some benefits, I am committed to keeping those benefits in place. I will fight to protect children’s ability to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26. I do not believe anyone should be faced with a lifetime limit on coverage, and most importantly to me, people with pre-existing conditions must be able to get the health care they need.  In fact, I am a cosponsor of the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act of 2017 to ensure people with pre-existing condition cannot be denied coverage.

Where the law has failed is where we must make the most improvements.  With costs going up and choices going down for Washington families I believe we can and should do better. As a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee I am working to provide families relief through lower costs, better coverage, more choices, and lower taxes – the current law imposed over $1 trillion in new taxes on the American people. I want to put patients back in charge of their own health care.

The stories I hear from people across the 8th District weigh on my mind every day.  I understand if Congress does not get this right families across Washington will suffer.  I assure you I am working tirelessly with my colleagues to protect your health care and improve coverage for everyone.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted my office to share your thoughts and stories. That input is very important as we move forward with health care reform.