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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“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.
Several members of Congress are requesting the Office of Inspector General in the U.S Department of Health and Human Services investigate youth congregate care and residential facilities, including those operated by a company Oregon previously sent dozens of foster youth to for treatment. “Recent reports indicate that some companies contracting with federal and state governments administering federally-funded benefits to care for at-risk children have potentially violated the health and safety requirements required by law,” the letter, signed by eight members of Congress, including U.S.
“Many seniors remain isolated, leading to dramatic increases in the demand for services and creating concern among providers who report they may soon run out of initial COVID relief funding,” Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), who chairs the House subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Older Americans Act, said in an emailed statement.
Environmentalists and state and local governments have already taken the EPA to court over the final rule in two separate lawsuits, broadly on procedural grounds. Biden is set to issue a memo today mandating evidence-based decision-making in federal agencies, but because the Trump policy shift came out as a final rule, the Biden administration would have to undertake another rulemaking to strike it from the books. The letter was led by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), and includes Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.).