The 115th Congress on the State of Healthcare, a collection of commentaries from members of Congress, is intentionally timed close to the midterm elections this year. In just over a month, voters will take to the polls to decide whether the Senate and House will remain controlled by Republicans.
Across the country, opioid overdoses and deaths have surged in recent years. In 2017, opioid overdose deaths hit a record high, taking the lives of 134 people every day. To save lives, we must maintain a federal response that is up to the challenge we're facing.
We understand that it is going to take a coordinated, all-hands-on-deck, community-focused effort to fight the opioid epidemic. And while our local leaders are at the forefront of that fight, Congress is by no means taking a back seat.
Healthcare costs are too high. Families are grappling with double- and triple-digit increases in health insurance premiums and rising out-of-pocket expenses. A growing percentage of our nation's gross domestic product is consumed by healthcare costs. We need solutions.
In North Dakota, around 50% of residents live in rural areas. As someone who represents a largely rural state, I recognize that these areas, across the country, face unique healthcare challenges due to their isolated locations.
Having Medicare as an option will force private insurance companies to be more competitive, bringing down costs for everyone. It also tests the idea that Medicare is the right benefit for everyone by allowing consumers and businesses to choose for themselves.
Looking to “big government” for answers to skyrocketing healthcare costs may be some politicians' solution, but that only results in giving the American people more frustration and fewer options—along with still-expensive healthcare.
There are 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions who would struggle to get quality, affordable health insurance, if not for the protections in the Affordable Care Act. It is imperative for President Donald Trump to stop sabotaging the ACA.
While congressional Republicans have spent the 115th Congress attacking a law that protects Americans, the New Mexico state Legislature took a bipartisan step forward by approving a measure to study how a Medicaid buy-in program could strengthen healthcare in the state.
Congress has the ability—and the responsibility—to play a larger role in destigmatizing all addictions, including opioid use disorders, as part of our work to improve the behavioral healthcare system.