Healthcare and healthcare access are some of the most important but also challenging issues facing Illinois families. We all want to keep ourselves and our families healthy but too often families experience barriers to care, lack of access to care or unaffordable care. In Congress, I’m working to change that because healthcare is a human right.
In Congress, I serve on the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee – Congress’ main policy writing institution for healthcare legislation – and I chair the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust – one of Congress’s principal health care advisory task forces. These roles place me at the nexus of legislative efforts to ensure quality, affordable healthcare for all Illinoisans.
My top healthcare priorities are:
- promoting health equity in our communities,
- protecting a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices,
- ending maternal mortality,
- expanding access to dental care,
- increasing diversity within the ranks of healthcare providers,
- fostering innovation at the intersection of technology, healthcare and telemedicine, and
- protecting Medicare and Medicaid for future generations.
Improving our nation’s health requires a dedicated, and holistic advancement of access to quality and affordable health care, as well as a strong focus on promoting physical fitness, nutrition, and preventative medicine including increased access to oral health care, and healthcare innovation.
We must also address both the root causes of gun violence, as gun violence itself is a public health crisis. Gun violence is a threat to our public health, and expanding access to, and quality of, mental health care services will help reduce the threat of gun violence and gun suicides.
Lastly, I support investments in the health care workforce. Scientific and medical research not only creates well-paying jobs, but it also improves our long-term national health by promoting cutting edge research that will develop the next generation of cures that will save lives and further reduce health care costs.
While access to care and systemic innovation are important, it is necessary to recognize that a host of social, economic and environmental factors contribute significantly to an individual’s health outcomes. That’s why I am pushing for policies that benefit the overall well-being of our communities, in addition to health advancing legislation the reduces barriers to accessing care.
For more information concerning my work and views on Health Care issues, please contact me.
More on Health Care
The Affordable Care Act: Seniors
- The Affordable Care Act doesn't require seniors to do anything through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. Medicare beneficiaries will continue to use medicare.gov or 1-800-Medicare for Medicare Part D open enrollment from October 15 through December 7 and any other Medicare questions or concerns.
- Reduces prescription drug costs for seniors.
The Affordable Care Act : People with Preexisting Conditions
- Insurers can no longer deny coverage or charge higher premiums for preexisting conditions.
- Insurers can no longer apply lifetime benefit limits on your coverage.
- Insurers can only apply modified annual benefit limits on your coverage. Beginning in 2014, insurers are prohibited from applying any annual limits on your benefits.
The Affordable Care Act: Women
- Prevents insurance companies from dropping women when they get sick or become pregnant.
- Improves care for millions of older women with chronic conditions, by providing incentives under Medicare for more coordinated care.
- Over 47 million women with private health insurance are guaranteed free coverage of a range of preventive health services.
The Affordable Care Act: Small Businesses, Non-profits
- The Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) allows small businesses and small nonprofits to compare and purchase coverage options on October 1, 2013 for coverage that can begin as early as January 1, 2014.
The Affordable Care Act Implementation Schedule
- Insurers can no longer drop your coverage when you become sick.
- Insurers can no longer apply lifetime benefit limits to your coverage.
- Insurers may only apply modified annual benefit limits to your coverage.
- Insurers can no longer discriminate against children up to age 19 with preexisting conditions.
- Insurers must spend at least 80% of your premium dollars on health care or quality improvement.
- Insurers must publicly justify rate
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly provided constituents with valuable information on the Affordable Care Act during a recent Town Hall meeting at the Mary Magdalene M.B. Church in Chicago.
Experts explained the new federal health care law and how it benefits individuals and families. Participants also learned about the Illinois Marketplace and what the ACA means for small businesses.