All through my time in Congress, I’ve labored with the agency perception that entry to reasonably priced healthcare is a primary human proper and an absolute necessity. Whereas nice strides have been made through the years, most notably by the Reasonably priced Care Act, tens of millions of People proceed to slide by the cracks.
Since I grew to become chair of the Methods and Means Committee, we’ve got fought to make healthcare extra reasonably priced and broaden entry to protection, whereas President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have continued their campaign to weaken the system and to strip protections from these with preexisting circumstances. Persevering with to enhance our healthcare system has at all times been an pressing and difficult enterprise, however the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated current issues and likewise shone a harsh mild on long-standing healthcare inequities within the U.S..
The previous a number of months have been full of devastation and despair, however they’ve additionally highlighted the resilience and energy of our healthcare staff, grocery retailer workers, postal staff and others in communities all through the nation. This time has additionally proven that we should demand higher well being outcomes by focused investments and elevated oversight of current packages. Strengthening the system will save lives on this pandemic, in future crises and through extra secure occasions. I’m happy with how the Methods and Means Committee acted swiftly and comprehensively to bolster our healthcare system within the face of COVID, however extra steps have to be taken past our emergency response laws to make sure sustained enhancements to U.S. healthcare.
From early on on this disaster, experiences confirmed that well being, financial and structural inequalities in our society led to astronomically greater demise, an infection and hospitalization charges in communities of shade. In late Might, the Methods and Means Committee convened a listening to throughout which consultants resoundingly confirmed that Black and Indigenous folks in addition to different folks of shade are at a lot larger threat of COVID-19 as a result of their well being is adversely affected by discriminatory insurance policies and structural racism. These biases endanger lives, and fixing these systemic issues have to be a high precedence for Congress. In July I issued a report, Left Out: Obstacles to Well being Fairness for Rural and Underserved Communities, which offers intensive background on the problems impacting well being fairness in America, and discusses challenges related to scalable and sustainable options to handle well being inequities and eradicate disparities.