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Improving Healthcare Access

Every Marylander should have access to affordable and reliable health care, regardless of their race or background. I support efforts to make Medicare a health care option for everyone so we can reduce costs for working families, while preserving access to private providers for those who prefer it. I will be a champion for health equity within our healthcare system. Furthermore, I believe that understanding the links between nutrition, housing, and health is essential to creating an equitable health care system, and as such will work to encourage insurance providers to invest in patient access to these resources and other preventative care services to promote holistic health, reduce long term costs, and create healthier communities.

We also need to recognize the urgency of the mental health crisis and work together to pass meaningful legislation to help the most vulnerable among us. In Maryland, I led efforts to provide debt forgiveness for mental health professionals in schools and roll out the mental health crisis hotlines. In Congress, I will take steps to expand access to mental health care providers and advocate for increasing research into preventative steps for our communities to support their neighbors.

As our loved ones get older, we also need to confront the issue of rising home-based, long-term care. Middle-class families should not have to exhaust their savings to provide care for elderly, sick, or disabled loved ones. When elected, I will advocate for a public long-term insurance program that uses a light payroll tax to give caregivers access up to $36,500 over a lifetime for professional care, medical equipment and home safety evaluations –things that families often have to pay out of pocket– to ensure all seniors in our communities receive the care they deserve.

In Congress, I will:

  • COSPONSOR the Health Equity Innovation Act, amending the Public Health Service Act to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, to award grants to faith- or community-based organizations to address persistent health inequities and chronic disease challenges

  • COSPONSOR the Improving Access to Mental Health Act, increasing the Medicare reimbursement rate for clinical social worker services, and expanding the mental health services eligible for coverage

  • COSPONSOR the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act, requiring institutions of higher education to share contact information for suicide prevention resources with students

  • COSPONSOR the Improving Mental Health and Wellness in School Act, adding mental health promotion and education to the existing requirements of local school wellness policies, and requiring the inclusion of registered dietitians, school-based mental health services providers, and a multidisciplinary team of school personnel in the development and implementation of local school wellness policies

  • COSPONSOR the Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act, authorizing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a grant program that enhances services for high school students with mental health and behavioral health issues such as depression, substance abuse, and suicide attempts

  • Senior Healthcare
    COSPONSOR the Long-Term Care Affordability Act, allowing the use of tax-exempt retirement plans to pay for long-term health care insurance, and excluding such distributions from the gross income of an insured individual up to $2,500 per individual in a taxable year

  • PROTECT the Inflation Reduction Act’s Senior Healthcare Protections, including:

  • The Medicare Drug Pricing Program, allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices of certain drugs directly with drug manufacturers to lower the costs for consumers

  • The Insulin Price Cap, creating a ceiling for the cost of insulin for Medicare beneficiaries at $35

  • The Free Senior Vaccine Measure, prohibiting Medicare D Plans from imposing cost-sharing for vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

  • The Drug Company Rebate Requirement, requiring drug companies to pay rebates if they raise prices faster than the rate of inflation

  • SUPPORT legislation to codify the proposed Department of Health and Human Service rule that would establish comprehensive staffing requirements for nursing homes, including national minimum nurse staffing standards, to ensure access to safe, high-quality care for the over 1.2 million residents living in nursing homes each day

  • SPONSOR legislation providing tax credits for Americans serving as caregivers for elderly family members

  • SPONSOR legislation exploring a public long-term care insurance program similar to the WA Cares Fund that uses a light payroll tax to give caregivers access up to $36,500 over a lifetime for professional care, medical equipment and home safety evaluations — things often paid out of pocket

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