Minnesota is home to more than 1,000 health care companies and 605 medical device companies, which in turn employs more than half a million Minnesotans. It is the government’s responsibility to be a resource, not a roadblock, on the road to advancement in this field. To that end, I firmly believe that if we are to guarantee access to the highest quality and most affordable care available, we must empower States to innovate and treat the many unique populations within their borders instead of mandating a “one-size-fits-all” health care system.
One of my top priorities since coming to Congress has been to repeal the medical device tax, which is expected to take billions from medical device manufactures - cutting into their research and development. Further, I believe the use of Health Savings Accounts can be expanded and should be encouraged, and we can also work to address medical malpractice and lawsuit abuse, and we can reduce fraud in government programs to ensure that they actually serve those most in need.
Here are some of the things I am working on in Congress to improve the delivery of care in Minnesota:
I lost my sister, Bridget, to breast cancer in January 2000. What my family faced and families across the country face when challenged by life-threatening disease and injuries is a reminder of why medical innovation and research is so important. That is why I have been a longtime advocate for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.
We must protect pre-existing conditions. That is why I am a cosponsor of the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act, which would guarantee individual health insurance availability.
Our nation is in the midst of a mental health crisis, and it is time for Congress to step up and look for ways to fix this pressing issue. I am an original cosponsor of the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act. This bill extends the Certified Community Behavioral Health Center program for two years, expanding access, especially to those in rural areas. Additionally, I have joined the Mental Health Caucus and passed the STRESS Act, which creates a suicide prevention program for farmers.
- I am committed to finding solutions that expand choice and improve access to the best types of treatment and care. I have supported Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) by cosponsoring the Faith in Health Savings Accounts Act, which allows Health Care Sharing Ministries to utilize HSAs, and the Freedom for Families Act, which would expand HSAs to cover expenses during family leave.
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