We are at a critical juncture in the state of America’s health. Our country spends over $2 trillion dollars each year on health care -- more than any other country in the world -- yet we are dying younger and have the highest rate of preventable deaths among 19 industrialized nations. In this wealthiest of nations, at any given time over 46 million people do not have health insurance and cannot get basic health care. I believe that we have a moral imperative to ensure Americans have access to comprehensive, affordable, and effective healthcare, and that belief has guided my work in Congress.
I supported passage of comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to improve access to quality affordable care and help us begin to reign in the explosive costs of health care in this nation. In the 34th Congressional District, where almost 40 percent of our community is uninsured, this law will extend coverage to 179,000 residents currently without insurance. The new law improves Medicare for 59,000 seniors in our congressional district by putting us on a path toward closing the Medicare Part D “donut hole” when beneficiaries are responsible for the full cost of their drugs.
The new law is already working: insurance plans are now prohibited from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions and young adults can stay on their parents’ health plans until 26. In 2014 adults with preexisting conditions will be protected as well. If you would like more information about how this new health care law will impact you, visit the sites below.
As a Co-Chair of the Study Group on Public Health, I worked hard to ensure that public health and wellness provisions were included in the final health reform bill. Millions of Americans suffer from preventable chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and obesity, and I as a member of the Appropriations Health Subcommittee I advocate for investments in prevention that save lives and money. I also serve as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Health Taskforce, focusing on policies that reduce health disparities across all minority communities, and ensure access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health care.
The Impacts of the Health Care Reform Law
As you are aware, on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) into law. The following week the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (H.R. 4872) was enacted, making significant improvements to the new law. These landmark pieces of legislation will expand access to quality and affordable health care to Americans and help us begin to reign in the explosive costs of health care in this nation. Please see the links below for more information about the new law and how it will impact you and your family.
Congresswoman Roybal-Allard is very concerned about the national epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes that is disproportionately impacting our Latino and minority communities, and believes that this may well be the most critical public health crisis facing our nation in the next quarter century. As founding co-chair of the Congressional Study Group on Public Health, the Congresswoman has worked hard in Congress to focus attention on the importance of investments in prevention and public health outreach to address chronic preventable diseases like diabetes. She also strongly believes that individual health education and family wellness efforts are essential to building healthier communities. For that reason she is happy to share this link to the Children with Diabetes website, and invites her constituents to use this informative resource as one tool in their efforts to prevent Diabetes and its complications.
Congresswoman Roybal-Allard's Health Legislation
The Guidance, Understanding and Information for Dual Eligibles (GUIDE) Act,
Assists people with mental disabilities in finding the right Medicare prescription drug plan for them by creating a demonstration program to provide one-on-one counseling services. The measure would also require that counseling services be provided by trained social workers and counselors in community mental health centers and other community-based non-profit organizations.
The Support 21 Act of 2009
Authorizes a new highly visible media campaign to educate the public about underage drinking laws and build support for their enforcement. The legislation asks the National Academy of Sciences to provide a report to Congress about the influence of drinking alcohol on the development of the adolescent brain. The legislation authorizes supplemental grant funds to current and former Drug Free Community grantees to work with pediatric health care providers and parents to reduce underage drinking.
The Communities of Color Teen Pregnancy Prevention Act, HR 2678
Make additional federal competitive grants available for existing and new school-based and community-based teenage pregnancy intervention programs in minority communities. The legislation would also authorize a national multimedia educational campaign to provide public education and increase public awareness about teenage pregnancy prevention and the importance of promoting and building healthy relationships to prevent teenage pregnancies.