“I believe access to healthcare is a right, not a privilege. We cannot progress as a nation without addressing health disparities and assuring that everyone has access to high quality, affordable healthcare. In Congress, I am committed to increasing access to affordable health insurance for the millions of Americans without coverage and making health insurance more affordable for those already covered.”
SUMMARY OF STANCE
I will continue to support legislation that allows hardworking American families to lead longer, healthier lives. I strongly support the Affordable Care Act (ACA), because I have seen firsthand how it has saved lives in every corner of the United States. I believe all Americans have a right to quality, affordable health insurance and the ACA provides Americans with the resources and tools they need to make this a reality for themselves and their families. Rather than dismantling the ACA the way the Trump Administration and congressional Republicans seem intent on, we should be working to ensure more Americans are covered.
RELATED LEGISLATION AND ACTION
Introducing legislation is just one action that a member of Congress can take to address a concern or issue that impacts constituents. House Members can also introduce Congressional resolutions calling on the House (or even the full Congress) as a body to recognize or support a certain event or position on an issue. Members can write letters to government leaders requesting they take certain action, hold hearings with expert panels to address issues, work with colleagues at the committee level on specific issues, or even make direct in-person appeals to other Members or officials in the government. Here are a few examples of how I have taken action on this issue.
The Affordable Care Act
The health and safety of our communities is at risk as the Republican Party threatens to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. In the 47th Congressional District alone, nearly 100,000 people who are covered through the exchange or through Medi-Cal expansion stand to lose their coverage if the ACA is repealed.
We have seen how the ACA has provided health insurance to millions of Americans. The uninsured rate in California dropped by over half, from 17.9 percent in 2012 to 8.6 percent in 2015. It is completely reckless and irresponsible to speak about repealing the ACA with no reasonable, comparable replacement.
As you know, the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, expanded healthcare coverage to millions of Americans and made numerous changes in the way health care is financed, organized, and delivered. Among its many provisions, the ACA restructured the private health insurance market, set minimum standards for health coverage, created a mandate for most U.S. residents to obtain health insurance coverage, and provided for the establishment of state-based insurance exchanges for the purchase of affordable, private health insurance. While I recognize there are challenges to be addressed in the implementation of the ACA, I strongly support its goals and I will continue to work in Congress to ensure that all Americans have affordable access to quality healthcare.
Today, Americans are already seeing lower costs & better coverage:
• 105 million Americans have had a lifetime limit on their coverage eliminated.
• Up to 17 million Americans who have pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage by insurers.
• 2.5 million additional young adults up to age 26 now have health insurance under their parents insurance.
• 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved $3.2 billion on their prescription drugs.
Learn more about how the Affordable Care Act works for you. To view affordable healthcare coverage options for you and your family, visit Covered California, our state’s healthcare exchange
Medicare & Medicaid
I believe that strengthening the Medicare and Medicaid system, providing accessibility to health insurance to our low-income children and families, funding cutting-edge research into cures for diseases, and giving patients the ability to successfully challenge the decisions of health insurers are paramount in ensuring a healthy society. More and more, our healthcare system will focus on keeping people healthy rather than just treating disease.
To live in fear of a crushing medical catastrophe or face bankruptcy due to debt from healthcare costs is no way to live.
Disease Research and the National Institutes of Health
As a community psychologist, I am a strong supporter of research that allows people to lead healthy lives. I am deeply appreciative of the impact that researchers across our country, and especially at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have had in advancing medicine, prevention, and treatment. I believe that we should continue to fund NIH and the invaluable research and programs it conducts.
I have strongly supported NIH in Congress and repeatedly advocated restoring funding and stopping cuts to NIH to ensure we continue investing in health research.
CAUCUSES OR MEMBERSHIPS RELATED TO ISSUE
Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease
The Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease was established to advance research and public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease by bringing the disease to the forefront of the congressional agenda.
Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus
The Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus consists of a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who are committed to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, improving the lives of those infected with the disease, and ensuring that everyone is informed and knows their status. The Caucus will explore opportunities and support policy initiates that help achieve an AIDS-Free Generation in the United States and around the world. More specifically, the Caucus will focus on domestic and international HIV/AIDS programs and initiatives, as well research efforts that can lead to a vaccine—and eventually a cure.
Children's Health Care Caucus
The Children's Health Care Caucus is dedicated to building support for ideas that improve the quality of care for children and their access to the quality care.
Congressional Deaf Caucus
The Congressional Deaf Caucus is dedicated to helping bridge the communication divide between Members of Congress and their Deaf and Hard of Hearing constituents, as well as empowering Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals through promoting equal access for all.
Congressional Caucus on the Deadliest Cancers
The Caucus will serve as a forum to aid Members of Congress and their staff in working together in a bipartisan manner to address and raise awareness about the deadliest cancers. The Caucus will also advocate for increased research and other measures to increase survival and to improve prevention, early detection, and treatment options for these cancers.
Congressional Cystic Fibrosis Caucus
The bipartisan Congressional Cystic Fibrosis Caucus supports research funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal research agencies; encourages collaboration and public-private partnerships between various organizations; and, advances public policies that address access to quality, affordable care to help treat Cystic Fibrosis.
Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus
This caucus works to protect women’s reproductive health rights and reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.
For more information concerning my work and views on health care, please contact me.
More on Health Care
The CARES Act included protections for homeowners with federal loans and renters in public or assisted housing.
Federal Eviction and Relief Measures
Child Care and Development Block Grant
The CARES Act appropriated funding to support childcare and early education by providing $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. California will receive $348 million under this emergency appropriation.
You can learn more about the California Department of Education’s Child Care and Development Fund State Plan, by clicking here.
More Than $375 Billion in Small Business Relief
The CARES Act provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits During The Crisis
The CARES Act includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four weeks, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.
Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans:
The CARES Act provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household. These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
Actions Taken By Congress To Address The Coronavirus Crisis
As the coronavirus spreads throughout our country, the devastating impact of this pandemic becomes clearer each day. Congress and the federal government have passed several key pieces of legislation to address both the health impacts and the financials impacts being felt across the nation.
March 5, 2020
Special Coronavirus Update – March 28, 2020
In this week’s update on the coronavirus crisis, I wanted to talk about a major piece of relief and stimulus legislation Congress passed on Friday, March 27, provide you with some of the latest updates from federal, state, and local public health agencies, share with you the latest recommendations on how to keep you and your loved ones safe, and post the results from the poll in last week’s update.
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement on the passage of the CARES Act, a $2 trillion relief and stimulus package to address the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States: