When I worked at Legal Aid, I worked with uninsured families who had been bankrupted by an illness and were experiencing financial hardship on top of poor health. The Affordable Care Act has significantly expanded access to health care, including children’s oral health services, and we must maintain its protections for people with pre-existing conditions and insurance subsidies for people who qualify financially. More must be done, however, to make sure everyone has access to affordable, quality health care. I am proud to be a member of the Medicare for All Caucus and will continue to work to expand coverage and make health care more affordable for all.
It is critical that we build a health care workforce that can meet our country’s increasing needs. As a leader on the Congressional Nursing Caucus I helped craft bipartisan solutions to address the nursing shortage across the country, including making sure we have safe staffing in hospitals and providing additional funding for nurse training and workforce development.
Across the country and here in Northwest Oregon, communities are experiencing the tragic and often deadly emergency of opioid abuse. I have met with parents, health care professionals, community leaders, veterans, and people from all walks of life who have shared heart-wrenching stories about how the opioid crisis is taking lives and inflicting pain on Oregon families. My report on the opioid crisis includes what I learned, what steps we’ve already taken, and my priorities moving forward. One priority is making it as easy to dispose of unused opioids as it is to get a prescription. I introduced The Safe Disposal of Opioids Act to create a grant program to help pharmacies and other qualified locations install and maintain drug disposal bins. This bill requires opioid manufacturers to fund these grants through a small fee on the opioids they sell.
Rising prescription drug costs are a burden for many Americans, particularly seniors. I have heard too many stories of seniors forced to leave a prescription unfilled or cut pills in half because of high costs. We must do more to make prescription drugs more accessible and affordable to everyone. Current law prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from negotiating for lower drug prices in Medicare. We should reverse this unnecessary restriction and leverage the purchasing power of the government to negotiate better prices for medications.
I will continue to be a strong advocate for consumers and patients as we work to address prescription drug costs and improve access to affordable health care for all.
More on Health Care
While a lot of work still needs to be done, Multnomah County's new Behavioral Health Resource Center is coming along. On Tuesday, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury went inside the building, which is located at Southwest Park Avenue and Southwest Oak Street, for a quick tour. County commissioners approved the $26 million center earlier this year. To help fund it, Bonamici has requested $1.3 million in federal funds. She says they should know by the end of the month if it's approved.
The Oregonian/OregonLive asked 7 U.S. Congressional members from Oregon and 89 members of the Oregon Legislature if they'd been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"What really helps is to make the vaccine available and accessible and come to the community. So we are here in a large parking lot in Tektronix," said Congresswoman Bonamici.
After considering more than 70 applications, Rep. Bonamici is seeking over $2 million through Community Project Funding to expand and maintain the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health clinic in Newberg. In selecting the clinic, Bonamici said, "I was looking for projects that would help support job creation, help with economic recovery and provide good paying jobs to people who've faced historic barriers to employment or services in their community."
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., is joining a legislative effort to turn the tide on such grim statistics. Bonamici joined the Black Maternal Health Caucus, launched by Reps. Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood, to sponsor a package of bills under the umbrella of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021. Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, is also a sponsor. “As a mom, I know how pregnancy and childbirth is an empowering time of life, but for so many women, it’s terrifying and dangerous,” Bonamici said in an interview. “It isn’t an income issue.
"Virginia Garcia is a trusted health care provider serving our community, including those most in need," Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said in the release. "This award of $10.2 million will help us defeat the pandemic, expand vaccinations in an equitable way, make COVID-19 testing and treatment more widely accessible and increase capacity during the pandemic and beyond. I'm thrilled to help deliver these needed federal resources to our community, and I applaud the team at Virginia Garcia for their steadfast leadership during these challenging times."
“It will help the senior citizen in Seaside who needs a vaccine but doesn't have access to the internet," Bonamici said in a statement. "It will help the new mom and her husband, both paramedics, who don’t have access to paid family leave and can’t afford child care. It will help restaurants like a beloved Portland eatery that has been shut down for months but could finally reopen thanks to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. It will help school leaders in districts big and small who want to bring students back to classrooms but don't have the funding to do so safely.