With the world’s finest doctors, hospitals and medical technology, there’s no reason why America can’t also have the world’s finest healthcare system. Unfortunately, our current system is too inefficient and too exclusive. By focusing on three main goals—expanding access to affordable care; improving outcomes; and reducing overall costs, without sacrificing a high level of care—we can begin to implement productive policies that will promote a system that values overall quality rather than overall quantity. Through innovation and research, we can improve prevention, diagnostics and treatment, ensuring that doctors and patients uphold and enjoy a standard of care befitting American health care.
While I support the goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the initial rollout was frustrating, mismanaged and wholly unacceptable. Still, our nation’s healthcare system is a long-term challenge that requires long-term solutions. Rather than partisan attempts to repeal, defund or dismantle healthcare reform, we must focus on working together to improve what is working, fix what is not working and rethink what is not fixable. What we do have is a base on which to continue building:
- Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions
- Children can stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26
- Small businesses can receive incentives to offer healthcare coverage to their employees
- Expanded preventive care to keep people healthier and to avoid unnecessary medical costs
Promoting Medical Research and Innovation
Congressman Schneider helped introduce the Protect Medical Innovation Act, which would repeal the arbitrary excise tax on medical device manufacturers. These manufacturers produce everything from MRI machines to pacemakers and replacement joints. You can read more about the Protect Medical Innovation Act here.
Congressman Schneider helped introduce the Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act, which would enhance and improve the regulatory system to track and trace pharmaceuticals through the supply chain and better ensure the products’ safety. The Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act was signed into law.
Understanding the critical role that federal research plays in developing treatments and cures, Congressman Schneider has strongly supported research funding for diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, neurofibromatosis and many other conditions. Congressman Schneider urged robust funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program in order to carry out groundbreaking research.
Protecting Consumers from Website Glitches
Congressman Schneider cosponsored the Coverage Protection Act, which would ensure that individuals who paid their premiums and tried to but could not enroll online receive retroactive health insurance coverage.
Congressman Schneider joined his colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services asking for necessary, important improvements to the healthcare exchange website. Some of these changes included offering over-the-phone assistance and improving user control over the application process. You can read the letter here.
Improving Overall Quality of Care
Congressman Schneider sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee in support of funding for Community Health Centers, which extend access to medically underserved areas. These Health Centers help bridge the gap many Americans without access to primary care face. You can read the letter here.
Congressman Schneider cosponsored two bills to improve diagnostics and promote the development of treatments for chronic and rare diseases. The Diagnostic Innovation Testing and Knowledge Advancement Act and the MODDERN Cures Act would both remove barriers to medical innovation and incentivize the development of new, more effective and efficient tests and treatments.
Congressman Schneider cosponsored bills to improve palliative care and enhance medical training for palliative care professionals. The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act would help the career development of physicians certified in palliative and hospice care. The Patient Centered Quality Care for Life Act would expand research and develop workforce training for palliative health care professionals.
Supporting Medical Education
Congressman Schneider is a member of the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus, a bipartisan group that works to support teaching hospitals and medical schools and the excellent instruction they provide.
Congressman Schneider signed a letter to the Appropriations Committee supporting Children’s Hospital’s Graduate Medical Education Program. You can read that letter here.