Because the American People Deserve the Best Care
America is the richest country on earth, and there is no reason that all of our citizens shouldn’t have access to first-rate and reasonably priced health care. Before 2009, many Americans were putting off necessary medical care because they could not afford it. Others were unable to get health insurance altogether because of a preexisting condition, or were dropped by their insurance company once they got sick.
As a member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, I was proud to help write the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, New Jersey is on-track to reaching its lowest level of uninsured residents in nearly a quarter of a century. In New Jersey 162,000 residents enrolled in private coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and 85 percent qualified for a tax credit to help off-set the cost of premiums. Another 140,000 New Jerseyans were able to enroll in Medicaid. In addition to expanding insurance coverage to millions of new Americans, the health reform law ended the rampant discrimination and abuse that existed in the health insurance market, which prevented adults and children with pre-existing conditions from being able to get insurance and allowed women to be charged higher premiums than men. The Affordable Care Act holds insurance companies accountable for rate increases, ends annual and lifetime limits on coverage, and allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. I believe this law will create stability in the health care system and relieve tensions caused by health care costs.
I introduced H.R. 1946, the Health Workforce Investment Act of 2009, in order to address the increasing shortage of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. This bill became part of health care reform, and ensures a national workforce strategy is developed to address shortages in health care professionals. I also fought to pass the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which helped achieve coverage for 11 million children.
I am committed to providing the necessary funds to update our out-dated systems, for prevention and wellness programs, and for research to discover effective ways to improve our health care system.
I believe that we must work together to make our health care system more efficient and affordable. We need to make our health care system about quality of care instead of the quantity of procedures. I will continue to fight to ensure that in this country, health care is a right, not a privilege.