Ensuring access to high quality, affordable health care is essential for people in Northwest Washington and across the country. Throughout my time in Congress, I have advocated for health care that fits Northwest Washington’s specific needs, including funding for critical access hospitals, better health services for veterans and Medicare beneficiaries, and health care that fits families’ budgets.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is helping thousands of families in Washington state. The law is an important step toward shifting the focus of health care from volume to value, improving the quality of care instead of just growing the quantity of care. Washington state is a nationwide leader in expanding people’s access to health care. Our state has seen its uninsured population drop from 13.9 percent at the end of 2012 to 7.3 percent in 2015, according to information from Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner, with the biggest gains among those aged 18-24 and making less than $33,000 per-year. This translates into nearly 65,000 individuals gaining coverage in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties. Additionally, 79 percent of Washington residents who signed up for coverage through the marketplace qualified for subsidy assistance.
The ACA is benefitting people in Northwest Washington in many ways. Under the law, people of all ages can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and many preventive services like cancer screenings and check ups are available to people without co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles. This means that individuals in Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties can now receive this important preventive care at no cost to them. Additionally, young adults in the 2nd Congressional District can stay covered through their parents’ insurance through their 26th birthday. For more information about how the ACA affects you, click here.
Improving Medicare for Seniors
Medicare is one of the cornerstones of our social safety net. I believe that Medicare beneficiaries deserve the best treatments possible. To that end, I supported measures in the ACA that strengthen Medicare and improve its long-term viability, like closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole. Medicare beneficiaries in Washington state saved $95 million on prescription drugs since the ACA was enacted. I also support cracking down on Medicare fraud, which helps keep Medicare sustainable and returns taxpayer dollars to their rightful purpose.
I am working hard to ensure that Medicare and Medicaid are protected for future generations.
- Strongly support the Medicare fraud task force, which gets an 610 percent return on taxpayers’ investment, returning $6.10 for every $1 invested in fraud prevention and recovery.
- Advocated for funding for medical research to provide better care and treatments to patients with diseases and conditions such as cancer, Down syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
- Advocated for community health centers, which provide critical access to care for anyone who needs it. Supported a bill to provide more stable funding to community health centers in Northwest Washington and around the country.
- Supported the 21st Century Cures Act, which significantly increased funding to the NIH, and modernized the processes through which we get cutting-edge drugs and medical devices to those that need them.
- Shared constituent feedback about the rollout of the health care law with state officials and Washington Healthplanfinder and worked to ensure a more effective response for consumer concerns.
- Voted to keep Medicare a guaranteed benefit, fighting against the Republican proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher system.
- Supported the expansion of health care access for 11 million kids.