Affordable Health Care for All Americans
Congressman Blumenauer is a strong advocate of health care reform to improve outcomes with access to high quality, low cost care. From his position on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, he has supported efforts to extend access to under- and un-insured people, protect coverage and benefits for our most vulnerable citizens, protect and improve Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and improve health care equity for women, minorities, and the LGBT community. He promotes investments and innovations in medical research and is working to maximize the medical and societal benefits from that research.
Oregon has a history of providing different models for quality health care. During his time in office, Congressman Blumenauer has met with over 3,000 stakeholders from around Oregon through regular health care roundtables to understand what Oregon does right. He champions these Oregon initiatives at the federal level to support a model of care that better coordinates services, transforming our “sick-care” system to one that proactively promotes health and wellness.
Health Care Reform: Congressman Blumenauer is proud of his vote in favor of historic health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This new law improves access, quality, and affordability of health care for all Americans, while protecting your right to choose your own doctor and health plan.
Local Initiatives: Oregon is leading the way to improve the quality, equity, and effectiveness of health care at the local level. It is this kind of local problem-solving, collaborating, and consensus building that will ultimately make the most impact in transforming our “sick-care” system to one that proactively promotes health and wellness. Congressman Blumenauer continues to support these state efforts and champion Oregon initiatives at the federal level.
Patient Choice and Empowerment: Congressman Blumenauer believes that patient wishes, particularly during end of life situations, must be heard and respected and strongly supports patient education and choice, and the critical importance of having those wishes respected.
Neuroscience: Congressman Blumenauer is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus. Through the caucus, Members of Congress support funding quality neuroscience research, raising awareness of neuroscience breakthroughs and applications, and developing a better understanding of the impact of neuroscience on our society.
Congressman Blumenauer is a strong supporter of Medicare and has continually opposed Republican legislation that would diminish or “voucherize” Medicare benefits to seniors and people with disabilities.
As a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over Medicare policy, he has deep concerns about the effects of escalating health care costs. Medicare expenditures have been growing at an unsustainable rate which is not only contributing to the insolvency of the Medicare trust fund, but is creating to higher out-of-pocket costs for seniors.
Oregon provides low-cost, high-quality health care and can be a model for the country as we work to improve value nationwide. In fact, health care in Portland, OR costs Medicare half as much as in cities like McAllen, Texas. This difference in spending demonstrates that there is ample room for reforming Medicare without reducing benefits.
The answer to rising health care costs is not to reduce Medicare benefits. Congressman Blumenauer has been working to reform how Medicare operates to improve the quality and value of health care. Currently, the Medicare payment system rewards doctors for the volume of procedures and services, not the value or quality of care or investments that improve care coordination. We need to tackle these perverse incentives so that seniors and people with disabilities are getting the right care in the right place at the right time.
The new health care law includes numerous programs to improve the quality and value of health care and end financial incentives that are counterproductive to these goals. It encourages teams of providers to better coordinate care and work together to manage a patient’s overall health. Beneficiaries will now have free preventive services and prescription drugs will be more affordable as we close the donut hole.