In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed to provide access to affordable and quality health care to Americans. While not perfect, the ACA provides millions of Americans with access to health care and prohibits those with pre-existing coverage from being denied care. It also provides consumers with essential health benefits that must be covered by insurance companies, including critical services like mental health and maternity care. Unfortunately, since taking control of Congress, the Republicans have attacked the ACA and have been determined to strip health protections provided under the ACA.
For example, the Trump Administration denied funding for the cost sharing reductions to health insurers provided under the ACA that has allowed insurers to keep premiums down. Without these payments, many Americans will see their premiums rise. Republicans also repealed the provision of the ACA that provided for the responsibility of individuals to obtain health insurance, without this mandate, many individuals, mostly younger and healthier, will forgo insurance which in turn could drive up costs. The GOP has also made it easier for health insurers to offer very narrow insurance plans that do not cover essential health benefits.
In addition to rolling back protections under the ACA, since taking control of Congress and the White House, Republicans have proposed policies that attack women’s health, as well as Medicaid. For example, the Administration has allowed for employers to opt out of offering coverage that includes birth control and has continuously proposed to eliminate funding for critical family planning centers like Planned Parenthood. In every budget proposal, Republicans have planned to turn Medicaid into a block grant program and opened the door for states to put extreme restrictions on Medicaid beneficiaries, including work requirements. Both proposals mean less coverage for the most vulnerable. They have also used critical federal health programs, like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers, as political bargaining chips in budget discussions.
I vow to continue to fight against Republican efforts to repeal the ACA and restructure Medicaid. I also pledge to continue being an advocate for women’s health and programs that support our most vulnerable populations such as Community Health Services. It is important that these critical programs and continued lifesaving medical research receive the funding they need to ensure the health and wellbeing of communities like the 8th District. I am proud to have repeatedly supported robust funding for programs such as research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Alzheimer’s research, nursing workforce development, Tourette syndrome research, and HIV/AIDS programs.
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This week in Washington, I participated in various Committee hearings, discussed important topics with several constituent groups, and met with foreign officials.
Over the past two weeks in Washington, I reintroduced important legislation, participated in several Subcommittee hearings, met with various constituent organizations, and voted on legislation in the House.
(Washington, D.C.) - Congressman Albio Sires and Senator Bob Menendez reintroduced the Collaborative Academic Research Efforts (CARE) for Tourette Syndrome Act to expand and further coordinate efforts towards research for Tourette syndrome. This bill would promote activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aimed at combating and diagnosing Tourette syndrome.
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Sires voted to oppose legislation that would place restrictions on how women with private health insurance can spend their own money when purchasing health insurance. While Congressman Sires voted against the legislation, H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 242 to 179.
Today I was honored to once again be sworn into office, representing the 8th District of the great state of New Jersey in the 114th Congress. Serving as a Member of Congress is a tremendous privilege and responsibility, and I do not take this commitment lightly. Members of Congress have a critical obligation to their constituents to advocate for their interests on their behalf, and I look forward to serving you over the next two years.
Progress towards a healthier world cannot be made without sustained investments in global health research and development, according to Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ), who spoke at a Congressional briefing on the 21st Century Global Health Technology Act, a bill that would encourage and support USAID’s efforts to advance affordable, culturally appropriate, and easy-to-use health technologies.