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.
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Family Forward and others also pushed for more than a decade for the recently enacted paid family and medical leave law and a statewide paid sick time law. Those protections, though, don’t kick in until 2023, said Family Forward’s Paluso.
Oregon plans to test all workers and residents in large senior care homes for the coronavirus by Sept. 30 and then retest all workers once a month, public health officials announced Monday.
“The state cannot implement their plan with the current limited supply of testing transport media and swabs,” Sen. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader wrote.
Responding to concerns from Clatsop County, the Oregon Health Authority said the state will not recommend mandatory coronavirus testing for essential workers at seafood plants and other food processors.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici asked the Oregon Health Authority for clarification on the guidance Saturday after The Oregonian reported a Hispanic couple in Washington County was denied coronavirus testing at two hospitals, reportedly because they were asymptomatic.
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici pressed for clearer coronavirus screening guidelines Saturday in response to a report by The Oregonian/OregonLive about a Latino couple twice rejected for testing.
In a letter to the Oregon Health Authority, Bonamici said she was “alarmed” to read that Michael Lopez could not secure testing for him and his wife, Milady, because they did not have symptoms.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., on Friday led members of Oregon’s congressional delegation—including Sen. Ron Wyden and Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader—in pushing the Trump administration to help meet Oregon’s urgent need for critical coronavirus testing supplies at long-term care facilities.
State regulators appear satisfied that Bornstein Seafoods has addressed safety concerns about the coronavirus cited in a complaint by the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council on behalf of workers at the Astoria seafood processor.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, last week criticized OSHA nationally for issuing only one citation, related to record keeping, despite what she described as the worst worker safety crisis in recent memory.