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
Diabetes medications in Oregon costs twice as much as in Canada — and more than four times as much as in Australia — according to a new report for Congress from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. It compares the prices for 50 brand-name diabetes drugs in Oregon to those in other developed countries. It found Medicare beneficiaries in Oregon pay more than $1,000 more per year for insulin.
The cost of insulin for Medicare recipients in Northwest Oregon is 4.6 times higher than it would be in Australia, according to a report recently released by Northwest Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici.
“No one should have to jeopardize their health or worry about affording food because of exorbitant prices for insulin,” Bonamici said in the press release. “Companies are charging much more for these critical drugs in the U.S. than abroad, hurting seniors and families in Northwest Oregon and across the country.”
The Washington County commissioner and former Hillsboro mayor keynoted the county's Veterans Day ceremony.
The father of U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of Beaverton also served in the Navy.
"I want to assure everyone that this is a coincidence," she said as the audience laughed.
Bonamici quoted from a 1963 Veterans Day proclamation by President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated just 11 days later, that the day is meant to honor men and women who have served in war and who also seek peace with "patience, perseverance and courage."
Many organizations representing the interests of older adults were thrilled with the U.S. House’s passage Monday of HR 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act of 2019, which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act. The leadership of Oregon Rep. Suzanne Bonamici on behalf of this bill was distinct and decisive. She chaired the subcommittee that produced the bill. Further, she ensured two things about the legislation and the process: It would be bipartisan and involve input from stakeholders.
Bills that would reauthorize the Older Americans Act and improve improve education and training in geriatrics passed in the House of Representatives on Monday. They now move to the Senate for consideration.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici says the current impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump may draw most of the public's attention, but the House is working on other issues affecting people's lives.
As an example, Bonamici said, a House subcommittee she leads has produced a bill (HR 4334) to extend federal spending authority under the Older Americans Act, which was originally passed in 1965.
While the impeachment of Donald Trump was at the top of mind at Gearhart’s congressional town hall Monday, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici fielded questions about the federal deficit, foreign policy and her position on equal rights.
But overall it was the topic of civility that dominated evening, the fifth of sixth town hall events in the state.