The Affordable Care Act helps ensure doctors and big insurance companies treat families fairly in everything from finding a doctor to receiving a diagnosis and receiving treatment. It’s not right that high medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. Following a May 2019 Health Subcommittee hearing I convened on the predatory practice of surprise medical billing, the No Surprises Act, which was modeled off of my End Surprise Billing Act, was signed into law in December 2020 and will take effect in January. As Health Subcommittee Chairman in the House Ways & Means Committee, I am working to ensure that affordable health care will always be there for American families that need it the most.
It is unacceptable that Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents, and shameful that GOP leaders will not expand access to Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. That is why I recently introduced the COVER Now Act, a bill that would allow counties to access federal funds in states that refuse to expand Medicaid.
I have also authored legislation to expand Medicare coverage to include hearing, vision, and dental care. Because I believe health care is a right, not a privilege, I support Medicare for All and endorse approaches to build toward that goal, including lowering the age for Medicare. I also filed the Stop the Wait Act, fighting for fairness for people with disabilities and ending burdensome waiting periods before collecting disability payments and receiving Medicare coverage.
The Republicans’ repeated attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act risk the health of American families. While the Department of Justice sought to destroy the entire ACA, I opposed Republican efforts to sabotage health care. Republicans merely offered a “Trumpcare” health plan, attempting to replace Obamacare with “I don’t care.” I firmly opposed Republicans’ “NothingCare” proposals. Instead of repealing Obamacare, Congress needs to work together to ensure health care is affordable.
The pandemic has shown us that we need more, not less health care access. I convened a hearing on the benefits of telehealth featuring an Austin physician. I will soon introduce a bipartisan bill to ensure patients who have benefited from expanded telehealth access during the pandemic can continue to use it.
Texas Republicans are interfering with individuals’ constitutional right to make their own health care decisions. I have a 100% pro-choice lifetime voting record. From your body to your ballot, your right to choose is under attack. We must defend reproductive freedom.