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
Anger against the pharmaceutical industry is growing. A Gallup poll published in September put the industry at the bottom of the heap among 25 sectors rated annually on their popularity. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said they had a negative view of the industry. People liked government more, with 52 percent seeing bureaucracies in a negative light.
Healthcare professionals, advocates, and families impacted by diabetes say the cost to treat diabetes in Oregon continues to increase.
According to a study by Quote Wizard, Oregon diabetics have the eighth highest average annual medical expenses in the nation.
Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici says the source of the soaring prices starts with the cost of medication, Insulin in particular.
In a July health care poll, Oregonians indicated more trust in their Salem legislators than Congress. Simultaneously, Congress now contemplates giving our state exactly the freedom needed to create our own health care plan.
This summer, Elway Research of Seattle (rated A+ by FiveThirtyEight.com) asked 402 Oregon voters if they would consider a state-administered universal health care plan that converted premiums and out-of-pocket payments into taxes.
Two lawmakers from Oregon are looking into how much people with diabetes pay for the insulin they need.
Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced the End Price Gouging for Insulin Act following a report prepared for fellow Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici found that people in the region pay about $1,000 more a year on insulin than people in other countries — a "rip-off" according to Merkley.
Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced legislation to end “exorbitant price hikes” on insulin.
The End Price Gouging for Insulin Act comes as a new report highlights the high cost of insulin in Northwest Oregon.
The report, produced for U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, found that Medicare beneficiaries in the region pay more than $1,000 more per year in out-of-pocket costs for some diabetes medications than people in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Life-sustaining medications for older Oregonians with diabetes cost federal healthcare nearly five times as they do in Australia, according to a new report done for U.S. Rep. Suzane Bonamici’s office.
A dramatic rise in insulin costs over the last two decades has created a crisis in the United States, according to the report, driving people to ration out their medications, sometimes with fatal results.