Bill believes that all 325 million Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. Health care must be a right, not a privilege for the few. In the years before health care reform, one out of three Americans under 65 years old went without health insurance at some point -- often putting off medical appointments and going without the screenings and treatments they needed. This was concerning to Bill not only for those Americans whose health was deteriorating, but also for younger Americans who could not access screening and diagnostics for costly chronic diseases early. Bill also remains focused on protecting Medicare and Medicaid from any actions that would weaken either program.
As a former member of the exclusive Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, Bill worked on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to help the then 45 million uninsured Americans afford health insurance through marketplaces established in 2013. In New Jersey, health reform means improved consumer protections for 4.9 million New Jersey residents with private insurance coverage so they no longer have to worry about their coverage running out as they face unexpected medical bills and free preventative care for 1.1 million New Jersey Medicare enrollees. In the Ninth Congressional District, the law protects hundreds of families from filing bankruptcy as a result of medical bills and gives young adults the option to stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 31. As Bill has spoken to groups in Passaic, Bergen, and Hudson County, he has emphasized health reform’s ability to create stability in the health care system to give residents across New Jersey increased peace of mind.
Bill supports the actions of the state of New Jersey in undoing the damage caused by the Trump administration’s rollback of quality, affordable, and accessible health care. New Jersey is establishing state-based marketplaces for ACA plans. These protections ensure that no New Jerseyans go without coverage.
In the 116th Congress, Bill is a cosponsor of H.R. 1884, the Protecting Preexisting Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019. This legislation would lower health insurance premiums and expand assistance for coverage by strengthening the tax credits available for ACA Marketplace plans. These changes would allow more middle-class individuals and families to qualify for subsidies and gain access to affordable, quality coverage. The bill also reverses many of the Trump administration’s efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act by strengthening protections for people with pre-existing conditions, stopping the Trump administration’s efforts to push Americans into junk health insurance plans that do not provide coverage for essential benefits, and reverses policies that have needlessly driven up premiums and uninsured rates.
Cost of Health Care in America
Looking ahead, Bill believes that we must make our health care system more efficient by preventing and managing costly chronic conditions as well as paying providers based on the quality, not quantity, of care. While health care reform takes the first step to moving our system from fee-for-service towards coordinated care models and from focusing simply on illness to promoting wellness, Bill believes that the health of our country remains our responsibility in Congress.
Bill believes that his constituents in New Jersey and those across the country have waited long enough and that Americans should not be dying because they can’t pay for a surgery. Bill shares the nation’s urgency for a sustainable system that lowers the cost of health care. When the Affordable Care Act came before the Ways and Means Committee, Bill proudly supported it because it brought our nation closer to universal coverage. He also believes that the ACA can be improved upon and should have included a public option, a position he continues to hold. Bill is working every day so that we can create a system that will withstand the inevitable political storms and protect every American.
Congress is also taking the issue of drug pricing seriously. The House of Representatives is diligently working on and passing bills to lower prices, promote generic drugs, and provide transparency in our convoluted pricing and coverage system. Congress must make manufacturers accountable and provide necessary information to consumers.
Prior to the ACA, one-third of women who attempted to buy health insurance were rejected or charged a higher premium. Many women delayed or skipped necessary care due to cost. Bill believes that the changes for women’s insurance are essential. Because of the ACA, women are covered for preventive care screenings, protected from discrimination due to pre-existing conditions, and plans cannot charge higher premiums compared to men. Women and their families now have access to comprehensive benefits through the ACA Marketplace, including maternity care and contraception.
Bill is in favor of a woman’s right to choose and believes that personal decisions, such as deciding whether or not to have an abortion, should involve a woman, her family, and her doctor -- no one else. He has always advocated for increased funding for family planning and education and supports prevention-focused legislation. Bill is a cosponsor of H.R. 2975, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which protects a woman’s ability to determine whether and when to bear a child or end a pregnancy, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide reproductive health care services.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration has continued the Republican war on reproductive health. Bill has repeatedly fought back against the Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides a range of preventive health and wellness services to millions of people worldwide.
As Bill continues to work on health issues within the Ways and Means Committee, he is committed to making health care coverage more affordable for all New Jersey residents and keeping the health care system accountable to you.