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Health Care

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed to provide Americans with access to affordable and quality health care. While not perfect, the ACA provides millions of Americans with health care coverage that they may not otherwise have access to. It also prohibits denial of care for individuals with pre-existing conditions, an estimated 54 million people. Additionally, the ACA outlines essential health benefits that must be covered by insurance companies, including critical services like mental health and maternity care.

Attacks on American Health Care

Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress and the Trump Administration continue to undermine the ACA and have made a concerted effort to strip the health protections this legislation affords patients. These efforts to undermine the ACA have included expanding the sale of short-term junk plans, limiting consumer enrollment assistance, weakening federal standards, and asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to invalidate the entirety of the ACA. Furthermore, protections and access to health care for women and LGBTQ+ individuals continue to be limited. You may find more specific information about my efforts to protect access to women’s health care here.

I recognize that the ACA is instrumental in improving access, quality, and affordability for millions, improving public health outcomes and quality of life. My Democratic colleagues and I vow to fight for protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions and address the rising cost of health care. Some of the bills I have cosponsored this Congress to do just this are:

  • H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, as passed by the House of Representatives, promotes generic competition, restores funding for ACA enrollment and outreach activities, rescinds the rule promoting junk insurance plans, and strengthens protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. 
  • H.R. 1884, the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act, would lower health insurance premiums by expanding affordability assistance, strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and stop insurance companies from selling junk health insurance plans.
  • H.Res.271, as passed in the House, urges the Department of Justice to cease its efforts against the ACA and reverse its position in Texas v. United States.

Opioid Crisis

The opioid epidemic is a national crisis and a public health emergency that has taken thousands of lives. In fact, it is estimated that over 130 people die each day in the United States from an opioid overdose. Ensuring state and local governments have access to adequate resources is critical to reducing the number of deaths from opioids and providing individuals with the treatment and services they need. I have cosponsored H.R. 2569, the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 2019, to help provide this much needed investment to combat the opioid epidemic. This bill would provide more than $100 billion over ten years to fight the opioid crisis.

Community Health Centers

Community Health Centers (CHCs) play a critical role in providing comprehensive, quality, affordable care to low-income populations in our community. In New Jersey, CHCs served 569,965 patients across 24 health centers at 137 sites. A majority of these patients are uninsured, publicly-insured, or low income. CHCs play a vital role in the health of our communities, which is why I continue to be an advocate on Capitol Hill for CHCs. In addition to supporting annual appropriations requests, I have cosponsored bills which will provide much-needed funding to CHCs, including:

  • H.R. 2328, the Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence Act of 2019, would reauthorize and extend funding for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps.
  • H.R. 1943, the Community Health Center and Primary Care Workforce Expansion Act of 2019, would fund Federally Qualified Health Centers and the National Health Service Corps.

More on Health Care

Feb 19, 2019

Last week in Washington, I was assigned to the House Committee on the Budget and introduced legislation addressing health research and international human rights. I met with New Jersey community colleges, members of Local 2369 from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition and Transportation Energy Partners, and other important stakeholders. Additionally, I cosponsored a resolution to overturn President Trump’s harmful emergency declaration.

Feb 11, 2019
Congressman Sires reintroduced H.R. 1131, the Collaborative Academic Research Efforts (CARE) for Tourette Syndrome Act of 2019 to expand and increase the coordination of Tourette syndrome research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Congressman Sires is joined by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) as original cosponsors.
Feb 5, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires released the following statement leading up to the President’s State of the Union Address:

Jan 3, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) – H.R. 1660, the Global Health Innovation Act of 2017 passed the Senate by unanimous consent on December 20, 2018. Previously, H.R. 1660 passed the House of Representatives on January 18, 2018 by a vote of 423-2 and now awaits signature by the President to be enacted into law.

Oct 1, 2018

Last week in Washington, the Senate Judiciary Committee grappled with serious allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The House of Representatives passed critical transportation bills, including railroad oversight legislation that I introduced. Additionally, I met with the President of Chile, the Director of USAID, and constituents from the 8th District.

Sep 17, 2018

Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee conducted oversight of the Trump Administration, including its relationship with Russia.  Additionally, I met with the New Jersey Commissioner of Education, medical research advocates from Hoboken, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and others to discuss the impact of their work in the 8th District.

Aug 28, 2018
(Washington, D.C.) –U.S. Congressman Albio Sires, along with U.S. Senators Menendez and Booker, today announced that the New Jersey Family Planning League has been awarded $6,481,000 in federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support New Jersey’s Title X family planning programs and reproductive health services across the state.
Jun 22, 2018

There was a lot of action in Washington this week as the House of Representatives considered immigration legislation, reconsidered the Farm Bill, and passed numerous bills related to the opioid crisis. Additionally, I attended hearings on U.S. policy in Afghanistan and pipeline safety, and held a number of meetings with diverse groups representing constituents from the 8th District, citizens around the country, and international delegations.

Jun 15, 2018
While in Washington this week, the House passed a number of opioid related bills, I attended a Foreign Affairs Hearing on democracy promotion, and held a number of meetings.
Feb 28, 2018

(Washington, D.C.)-  Today, Congressman Sires released the following statement regarding Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s plan to reinvest in its policyholders:

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