(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) today voted in favor of three bills to increase the quality of health care for Eastern Washington residents: H.R. 5293 the Senior Independence Act, H.R. 5573 the Health Centers Renewal Act and H.Res. 323 Supporting efforts to increase childhood cancer awareness, treatment, and research.
“One of my top priorities is to provide access to quality, affordable health care,” said McMorris. “The three bills passed today help improve care to children, seniors, and everyone in between. We must continue to fund our health care priorities and strengthen programs that deliver critical care and services.”
McMorris is a cosponsor of the Senior Independence Act, which renews the Older Americans Act. This bipartisan legislation supports the needs of America’s aging population by emphasizing consumer choice, access to reliable information, and health promotion. Today it is estimated that over 36 million people in the U.S. are over the age of 65, making it the fastest growing age group in the country. In Eastern Washington, the Older American’s Act has helped facilitate the delivery of 156,188 home meals through Meals on Wheels, 156,188 miles of volunteer transportation, legal advice for over 500 seniors, and 4,566 individuals receiving family caregiver support.
The Health Centers Renewal Act extends funding through 2011 for the Community Health Centers program, which is set to expire this year. Health centers offer cost-effective, quality health care to poor and medically underserved people, including the working poor, the uninsured, and many high-risk and vulnerable populations. Health centers provide care to 1 of every 8 uninsured Americans, 1 of every 4 Americans in poverty, and 1 of every 9 rural Americans.
McMorris also supported House Resolution 323 that states a commitment to promoting awareness about the high rate of cancer among children, and to increasing treatment and research of childhood cancer. The incidence of cancer among children in the United States is rising by about one percent each year, and an estimated 12,400 children were diagnosed with cancer in 2005.