Ensuring quality, affordable health care for all Americans
The passage of the landmark healthcare reform law in 2010 represented a milestone in the expansion of access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. However, there is still much work to be done. There are steps we can take to improve health care reform, and Senator Coons believes the landmark reform law should not be an end but a new foundation for a healthy future. In addition, investing in innovative, cutting-edge scientific research is critical to discovering the next generation of cures that will save lives and reduce costs.
Senator Coons’ health care priorities include:
- Improving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The health reform law expanded coverage opportunities for millions of Americans. The Supreme Court affirmed this important step forward, protecting provisions that are vital to many Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. There are, however, still ways we can improve upon this law. That is why earlier this year, Chris joined Senator Pryor in introducing the Church Health Plan Act to close a loophole that could result in church-run health plans being penalized because they are not deemed qualified health plans under the Affordable Care Act. Chris will continue looking closely at its implementation and work with his colleagues to make beneficial changes.
- Protecting reproductive rights. Chris believes that decisions about a woman’s health, including issues surrounding pregnancy, should be left to her and her doctor. Abortion should remain safe and legal for women regardless of their financial means. He supports Roe v. Wade and supports restoring the original rights expressed in the decision before legislation and courts began eroding them.
- Ensuring access to women’s health and family planning services. Chris supports public funding of all reproductive and preventative health services for women who depend on the federal government for their health care. He will continue to fight efforts to de-fund the Title X family planning program and Planned Parenthood. Without these programs, millions of Americans will be unable to access preventative screenings, birth control, and other health and family planning services.
- Supporting research on Pulmonary Fibrosis. Pulmonary Fibrosis is a relentlessly progressive, ultimately fatal disease that affects the lungs and a person’s ability to breathe. There is no known cause of Pulmonary Fibrosis, it has no cure, and there are currently no FDA-approved treatments. Most patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis live only three to five years after being diagnosed. In 2011, Chris introduced the bipartisan Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act to enhance research, prevention, and awareness activities around the disease.
- Providing and promoting end-of-life care. Caring for a loved one at the end of life can be emotionally and financially difficult. Chris wants to expand access to information about all options available to patients and families, and help them access the medical and social services available to aid and comfort them in their time of difficulty.
- Supporting the National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health is our country’s premier institution for medical research and offers our best hope for treating or curing debilitating diseases that American families battle every day, as well as containing increasing health care costs. The cutting-edge research and innovation done at NIH has yielded an unprecedented number of scientific advances that have improved health outcomes and contributed significantly to the nation’s economic growth.