My Position on Health Care
Expanding access to quality and affordable medical care in Eastern Washington, especially in rural areas, will always be one of my top priorities. Individuals and families in Eastern Washington should not have to live in fear over how they will pay for their prescription medications, especially when they are living with a rare or chronic illness. All across the country, the cost of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket. This is why it is so important to stand on the side of innovation, so we can achieve more medical breakthroughs and help millions of people manage the symptoms they experience every day.
As Lead Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I am leading the Lower Costs, More Cures Act to drive down drug prices for individuals and families in Eastern Washington without limiting access to cures. This legislation is about building on the progress we’ve made with 21st Century Cures to help bring more generic drugs to market faster, make insulin more affordable for our loved ones, lower out-of-pocket spending for seniors, boost access to new medicines and cures, and bring much-needed transparency to drug pricing. Thanks to American ingenuity and innovation, we are on the verge of some amazing breakthroughs.
I believe we should allow businesses to pool together to purchase insurance, permit insurance to be sold across state lines, and limit junk lawsuits. We should also promote healthier lifestyles, deploy new health technologies, and expand access to care in rural areas. That’s what the American people want and deserve.
I also continue to play an active role in advancing affordable, patient-centered health care reforms. As co-chair of the Rural Health Caucus, I advocate for better access to affordable and quality health care services in our rural communities, and in early 2018, my legislation to extend and expand the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program was signed into law, which will help meet the doctor shortage in rural and underserved areas.
In 2015, my Steve Gleason Act was also signed into law to provide a temporary fix to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy that limited access to speech-generating devices for people with ALS, like Spokane-native Steve Gleason, and other degenerative diseases. In 2018, the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act was signed into law to make that fix permanent.
Finally, I am committed to ensuring those with disabilities and other pre-existing conditions are guaranteed access to coverage. My Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act would provide guaranteed access to coverage, prohibit pre-existing conditions benefit exclusion, and ban a premium rating based on health status.
This is one of my top priorities to bring down costs and help individuals keep control over their health care decisions.