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) has helped 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. Washington state has seen its uninsured population drop from 13.9 percent at the end of 2012 to 5.8 percent. This translates into nearly 65,000 individuals gaining coverage in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties. Additionally, because of the ACA, almost three million Washingtonians with preexisting conditions can access health coverage.
The ACA has benefited 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 copays, 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 Second 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
Tens of thousands of seniors in Northwest Washington depend on Medicare as their only source of health coverage. I believe 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 have 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.