Other Issues on Health Care
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“It hard to imagine why the White House is considering slashing the funding for the primary agency leading anti-drug efforts in the midst of a nationwide drug abuse epidemic,” said Courtney. “I urge the president’s key advisors to meet with local law enforcement officials battling drug abuse on the front lines like I have done in the past to better understand how their departments utilize federal funding in the fight against prescription opioid and heroin abuse. Local police and health professionals on the front lines of this epidemic tell me that the primary reason we are losing the battle against opioids is lack of resources at every level. The bipartisan letter signed by more than sixty of my colleagues today from both parties demonstrates that the administration will face stiff opposition to any proposed funding cut for drug abuse prevention and treatment.”
May 4, 2017 Press Release
“Just one month ago, Paul Ryan pulled the GOP healthcare bill minutes before a scheduled vote because support had collapsed in the face of vehement opposition from organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Cancer Society, the Heart Association, the Lung Association, doctors and nurses,” said Courtney. “The groups denounced this bill after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found it would eliminate healthcare coverage for 24 million Americans. Today, Paul Ryan brought the bill back with changes to placate the most extreme elements of his party that in the words of the American Hospital Association will make ‘a bad bill even worse.’ The revised bill weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and dismantles requirements that health insurance plans must cover maternity care, mental health services, addiction treatment, emergency room care, and bans on lifetime limits for coverage, just to name a few. The bill still raids the Medicare trust fund, rolls back Medicaid, and raises premiums on Americans over the age of 50. For those who frustrated with weaknesses in the existing law – this bill does nothing to address those and in fact greatly exacerbates them. I implore the Senate to scuttle this deeply flawed measure and give us the opportunity to enact real fixes to the healthcare system that Congress can consider on a bipartisan basis.”
March 31, 2017 Press Release
“The impact of a loss of Hartford HealthCare services for these 5,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees can only be described as a significant disruption,” wrote the delegation members. “Without a Special Enrolment Period, these members will be forced to select new primary care providers, new specialists, and familiarize themselves with new facilities, many of which will be outside of their communities and which may not offer the services they receive at Hartford HealthCare. Allowing these beneficiaries to choose any other Medicare Advantage plan offered in Connecticut will allow these patients to maintain their ongoing relationships with their providers. This is especially important for those beneficiaries going through treatment for acute and chronic conditions."
March 30, 2017 Press Release
“Speaker Ryan’s comments this morning make clear that he has absolutely no inclination to work with Democrats on a bipartisan basis to improve our healthcare for families across this country,” said Courtney. “I remain ready and willing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to build on and improve the Affordable Care Act. Speaker Ryan’s comments unfortunately leave little room for this kind of effort, and instead keeps the House on set on a course of further gridlock at a time when Americans are looking for thoughtful cooperation in Washington. I hope he will reconsider, and instead pursue ideas to improve care for Americans that have support among both parties and the American people.”
March 24, 2017 Press Release
“Today the Republican Conference took us to the brink of disaster by putting forward a fatally-flawed bill which was largely a tax cut for the rich and would have endangered the healthcare of tens of millions of Americans,” said Courtney. “The Republican bill was opposed across the board by nurses, doctors, veterans’ advocates for older Americans and persons with developmental disabilities. It is my sincere hope that Speaker Ryan and President Trump will get serious about governing in a way that represents all Americans, and work with Democrats to craft real solutions which will build on the Affordable Care Act rather than attempting to start from scratch.”
“When you look at what the stakeholders who deliver healthcare in America have been saying, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, the AARP, and the American Medical Association, who have looked at this bill over the last two weeks - they have universally pleaded with the Congress to block this measure – to slow down the rush to judgement which is going to deprive people of one of the most elemental basic needs that all of us share,” said Courtney. “We are not immortal – we are not immune to getting illness and disease – it is something that affects every single American, and to pass a bill which will wreak this kind of havoc is irresponsible and takes this country in the absolute wrong direction."
March 16, 2017 Press Release
“President Trump has insisted over and over again that 'forgotten' working families are his top priority, but the budget blueprint issued by the White House today shows no indication that the needs of families were considered when putting it together,” said Courtney. “If the framework the President proposed today were ever to become law it would deliver a devastating blow to our economy and working families across this country. His proposal diverts critical K-12 funding from our public schools at the Department of Education, decimates USDA Rural Development funding that is so vital for jobs and infrastructure improvements in eastern Connecticut, cuts job training funding that will fill the skills gap in manufacturing, and most appalling, eliminates thousands of medical research grants at the national institute of health that is aimed at curing a wide range of illnesses and disease. This budget also weakens our global strategic position by hobbling the State Department with massive funding cuts that risk damaging our diplomatic corps and international engagement for a generation. Rather than crafting a thoughtful blueprint for the federal government, the president’s budget is instead a declaration of his administration’s far-right political doctrine that intends to undermine our national government and eliminate federal programs that are critical for working families."
March 8, 2017 Press Release
“For hundreds of thousands of families this coverage gap is a quiet crisis that threatens access to critical nursing home care or in the alternative shifts thousands-of-dollars in costs to elderly patients,” said Courtney. “This commonsense change will ensure that seniors no longer face thousands of dollars in bills for skilled care because of this arbitrary federal policy. It is very simple: three days in the hospital is three days in the hospital. Anyone who meets that threshold should receive the same benefit from Medicare. Congress should act immediately to restore Medicare’s long history of covering nursing home care for patients after a three-day hospital stay.”
March 7, 2017 Press Release
“Seven years ago, in March of 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law after a two-year process of hundreds of committee meetings, exhaustive markups which I personally participated in, floor debate that went on for days, and back and forth between the House and Senate,” said Courtney during his floor speech. “The fact that this measure is going forward in committee tomorrow morning, with less than 24 hours for the American people to have even a glimpse of what is being proposed, and without an any analysis or a budgets score is just an abuse of the legislative and democratic process. We have seen an outpouring of Americans over the last two months at town hall meetings - I have had four of them - telling heartfelt stories about how the ACA helped them. Yes, we can improve the law and there are many ideas we can work together on and that is what we should be focused on – not butchering the law which this proposal seeks to do."
February 21, 2017 Press Release
“It’s very encouraging to see how many people were willing to turnout on a Saturday in Willimantic and across the country to show their support for preserving the Affordable Care Act – it demonstrates just how important this law has become,” said Courtney. “Sometimes people forget that many of the protections they now take for granted, like allowing young people to stay on their parent's plans until age 26, ban against lifetime limits on coverage, protections for those with pre-existing conditions, and a prohibition against charging women more for coverage only exist because of the Affordable Care Act."