Protecting Our Hospitals and Healthcare Access

My mother is a retired nurse.  I know access to quality healthcare is important in Maine.

As our Congressman I have worked hard to support our hospitals who care for our families, Senior Citizens, individuals, and Veterans.  I have also worked for reform to bring down costs and improve care.

These are just some of the steps I have taken:

•    Founding and serving as Co-Chairman of the national bipartisan Congressional Rural Hospital Caucus to fight for the needs of Maine’s rural and regional hospitals.

•    Advocating for Maine solutions like the invisible risk pools created by the Maine Legislature which guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions while holding down and lowering health insurance costs for Maine people.  I continue to advocate for this solution as a national model for reform.

•    Working to expand access to VA programs so Veterans have the option of receiving their healthcare closer to home.  Through this effort the VA supports our local hospitals and local doctors – which provided them a much needed funding source to keep providing care in our rural communities.

•    Continuing to lead efforts to fix bureaucratic threats to the reimbursements our Maine hospitals and doctors need.  As a result of my direct efforts, federal officials traveled to Maine meeting directly with local hospitals to fix their reimbursement problems and concerns.   

•    Holding the Togus VA medical center accountable for a Doctor on staff who was found to be negligent in multiple medical case mishaps.

•    Serving as the original co-sponsor of Legislation to repeal the medical device tax, which increased health care costs for consumers and threatened hundreds of Maine jobs at our own health products supplier, Hardwood Products in Guilford, Maine.

•    Supporting efforts to Maine people to choose the health plan which works best for them by eliminating the individual mandate which forced Maine people to pay an IRS fine if they did not purchase a government-approved health plan.

•    Voting to support the bipartisan Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act which eliminates insurance company protections and creates competition so there is access to more health plan choices.

•    Supporting the 21st Century Cures Act which speeds up new and innovative drugs to treat rare and disorders without treatments currently on the market.  The legislation also provides for additional health care research that will help our Maine research facilities including Jaxson Labs and MDI Biological Labs in Bar Harbor.

•    Standing up for the repeal of what was called the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) which was a failed government formula causing problems for senior citizens attempting to access doctors.  

As the son of a nurse, I will continue to work on improving access to affordable, quality health care in Maine.