Having raised my three children as a single mother and served as the primary care provider for my own mother, I understand how difficult it can be to afford the health care your family needs and how important it is that your family has access to affordable and hassle-free health care.
Today, too many Americans don’t have access to quality care – often times because it is far too expensive. Unfortunately, the costs keep rising year after year, making it increasingly difficult to ensure our families have access to the care they need. The nationwide problem is only amplified in Texas. With one in four Texans without health care, we have the highest uninsured rate in the country.
I was deeply disappointed that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act failed to do enough to address the rising cost of health care in America – which is one of the primary reasons I voted against this legislation in 2009 and subsequently voted for its repeal.
The way to improve access and the affordability of health care is not through burdensome mandates on states, employers, and individuals. There are other options. I have been a strong and consistent supporter of community health centers. Studies show these centers – which treat the insured and uninsured as well as Medicare and Medicaid patients – are a shining example of cost-effective health care. I have also authored legislation to provide individuals with tax credits that can be used toward the purchase of health insurance.
Medicare is also a vitally important program to many of my constituents; however, it is facing unprecedented budget challenges. According to the Trustees of the Medicare program, Medicare could be broke by 2024. I believe it is critically important that this program is preserved for those who are at or near retirement today, but also available for our children and grandchildren.
Research and Prevention
I am a strong believer that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Health care prevention efforts improve lives, lower health care costs, and help people live longer.
Prevention for many diseases begins during childhood. That’s why I’ve worked with young people throughout the district on this issue, encouraging them to become more active and eat healthier so we can fight childhood obesity together. By teaching our children healthy habits, we can positively impact the way they live, work and play – every day of their lives.
Prevention goes hand in hand with early detection. I have been a strong supporter of increasing colorectal cancer screening. Without a colonoscopy, it is difficult to diagnose colorectal cancer until it’s too late. I am pleased that over the past several years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded its colorectal screening program for low-income and uninsured individuals. This is a life-saving program.
Research is also an important component in the fight against diseases. I was proud to support the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, which was signed into law in 2013. This law will advance research efforts to improve detection, treatment, and prevention of the most deadly cancers. I have also been a supporter of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which does invaluable research, using science to improve the lives of countless patients.
Medicare Physician Reimbursement
Under current law, if spending on Medicare physician services exceeds a set spending target, the physician payment rate is reduced. Such a reduction, however, would deliver a severe blow to our nation’s health care for seniors, as drastic cuts in payments could force many doctors to no longer accept Medicare patients. With fewer doctors accepting Medicare patients, many seniors could lose access to the doctor they trust and find it more difficult to find another physician that serves Medicare patients in their area.
To ensure seniors are protected, Congress has consistently passed temporary fixes, known as the “doc fix,” to make sure physician payments are not reduced. I voted in favor of H.R. 4015, a bill to permanently fix the Medicare physician reimbursement rate issue. Unfortunately the Senate did not consider this bill so we passed another temporary solution to the problem. I am optimistic that Congress will enact a long-term fix to the Medicare physician reimbursement rate issue, which is something I strongly support.
More on Health Care
Veterans dying. Falsification of VA data. Months-long backlogs of veterans waiting for appointments are headlines that we should never read in this country.
The recent allegations and developments regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs are appalling. As the claims continue to grow over the failure to adequately provide health care services to our veterans, it is increasingly clear that more VA officials need to be held accountable.
Washington, DC - Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) released the following statement after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the initial Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers. Since October 1st, 2013, CMS announced that 106,185 Americans have enrolled. According to the numbers released today, the figures also include people who have selected a health plan, but may not have actually purchased the plan.
Congressional representatives Kay Granger and Roger Williams applauded the House vote Friday that will keep the federal government operating for now while defunding Obamacare, the president’s controversial national health care law.
Granger, R-Fort Worth, whose 12th Texas District includes Parker County, said the country cannot afford a government shutdown.
Congresswoman Kay Granger today released the following statement after the passage of a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown and defund the new health care law:
The Texas Republican delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter today to every member of the United States Senate, urging senators to unite with them in the effort to defund the new health care law through the continuing resolution. Read the full letter at the link below.
Congresswoman Kay Granger today will tour Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, a business of Smith & Nephew, to see the company’s newly expanded cell therapy research and manufacturing facility.
Every few weeks, it seems like there is another report about abuse and scandal within the IRS and other federal agencies – a single conference for IRS officials that cost $4 million, travel expenses for senior government officials that amounted to $9 million over two years, the targeting of conservative groups filing for tax-exempt status, and the list goes on.
Some businesses breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when the White House announced the health care law’s employer mandate would be delayed until 2015. If businesses get a delay, individual Americans should get a delay as well.
This week, I joined Members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle to pass a one-year delay to the individual mandate. I supported this delay for a number of reasons.
Recently, I wrote to you about a number of provisions in the health care law that would impact small businesses. Last week, the Obama administration announced one of those provisions – the employer mandate – would be delayed until 2015.
I have never supported this law and have repeatedly voted for its repeal. I do believe delaying the employer mandate is better for businesses, but I’m very concerned about how the delay happened.
I had the privilege of participating in two Public Service Announcements that hit the airwaves in our area last week.
The first, called “Signs,” works to bring awareness to mental health disorders. More than one in four American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder, but many fail to get the assistance they so desperately need. If someone you know shows signs of a mental illness, please let them know that you care and then seek help from a doctor or mental health professional.