Every American should have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. No one should lose their home or financial stability in order to afford life-saving procedures or prescriptions. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) put our country on the right path by providing healthcare to millions of Americans and over 100,000 Connecticut residents.
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of workers were thrown off their healthcare plans and encountered rising prescription drug costs, high premiums, copays and deductibles, and complicated insurance processes to receive healthcare. Congress needs to find pragmatic, innovative solutions to expand healthcare coverage and decrease costs.
In my time in Congress, I’ve supported measures that expand mandatory paid medical and family leave, decrease prescription drug costs, cap insulin prices, expand health insurance subsidies, ensure coverage for telehealth services, encourage sensible Medicare and Medicaid reform and protect women’s reproductive freedom. I am proud to have supported some of the most comprehensive healthcare reforms this country has accomplished in recent decades through the Affordable Care Act, CARES Act, American Rescue Plan, and Inflation Reduction Act. Moving forward, I will continue to support measures that expand eligibility for insurance coverage and fund public health and medical communities to ensure robust medical research.
Racial Health Disparities
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated health inequities. Research shows that Americans exposed to disproportionate amounts of air pollution are more likely to die from viruses like COVID-19, given the connection between toxic air pollutants and underlying health conditions. I’ve long supported initiatives to address health disparities from pollution. In March 2021, I voted in favor of the American Rescue Plan Act, which included $100 million for environmental justice programs and air quality issues. I will continue to work in Congress to build on this record funding and address the impacts of environmental harms on communities of color.
Separately, I’ve co-sponsored the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act which makes it easier for seniors in underserved communities to receive care.
Mental and Behavioral Health
For too long, the importance of mental and behavioral health has been ignored as core tenets necessary for fulfilling and healthy lives, relationships, and communities. Our nation’s mental and behavioral health crisis undermines our moral sensibilities to ensuring equitable health outcomes and weakens our collective strength.
I proudly voted for the passage of the Restoring Mental Health and Well-Being Act, a bipartisan package of legislative reforms that expands access and funding to more than 30 programs and grants, including crisis care, suicide prevention, eating disorders, telehealth, and drug and substance use disorder prevention and treatment services.
Moreover, the Biden Administration launched the 988 mental suicide hotline on July 16, 2022, providing those in crisis with three-digit dialing code to call that connects people with the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Importantly, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act provided over $700 million for several community and school mental health grants, programs, and services.
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