For the first time in decades, the United States has seen a drop in life expectancy. This is extremely troubling and emphasizes the need for our country to take a hard look on the health and wellness of our citizens. We need to increase access to healthcare for all Americans, improve preventative health, and make the necessary investments into research and development on how to combat diseases.
Affordable Care Act
I am proud supporter of the Affordable Care Act which put in place a patient bill of rights. The ramifications of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act for Ohioans are real. In Ohio alone, more than 35 thousand young adults would lose their insurance coverage through their parents’ health plans. Nearly 6.7 million residents of Ohio with private insurance coverage will be vulnerable again to having lifetime limits placed on how much insurance companies will spend on their health care. More than 1.8 million seniors in Ohio who have Medicare coverage would be forced to pay a co-pay to receive important preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies. Repealing the ACA will have tragic effects on the millions of Americans who rely on quality and affordable healthcare for their families.
Research and Development
As Congress continues to work to promote accountability in the budget and avoid wasteful spending, I believe it is imperative that we continue to fund important programs to improve our Nation’s healthcare. That is why I am a longtime supporter of continuing to fund the National Institute of Health, which provides funding for research grants and clinical trials for such diseases as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
Further, I was pleased to support the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law by President Obama. This legislation focuses on increased investments to the NIH, expedites reviews of lifesaving medicine, and streamlines the drug and device development process. This legislation will deliver $8.75 billion for the NIH in mandatory funding over the next five years which will help continue research grants and clinical trials for many diseases. This legislation also focuses on the modernization of clinical trials and supports the inclusion of diverse populations in clinical research, which allows for the use of new and creative adaptive clinical trial designs and encourages the development of next generation treatments. Furthermore, it supports the development of precision medicine through funding in the NIH and Cures Innovation Fund. In addition, the package includes key provisions on substance use disorders and mental health, including $1 billion in grants for states to treat heroin and prescription opioid addiction. I hope this legislation will give the millions of people of who are suffering from life-threatening diseases and their families hope that a cure will be discovered.
Healthcare spending in the United States continues to rise. Healthcare expenditures surpassed $2.3 trillion in 2008, with costs from chronic disease treatment accounting for over 75 percent of national health costs. Many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke are linked to dietary and lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, many physicians feel inadequately trained to provide proper nutrition advice. Furthermore, the same can be said for physical activity – although expert recommendations encourage more medical schools to teach physical activity, only 13 percent of medical schools integrate it into the curricula. That is why I introduced the bipartisan Expansion of Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act, which would create a grant program for U.S. Medical Schools and Osteopathic Colleges to create an integrated nutrition and physical activity curriculum program.
More on Health Care
Washington, DC – U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Bill Posey (R-FL) today introduced the Safe Medicine Act, bipartisan legislation to break America’s dependence on pharmaceuticals produced overseas and protect Americans from defective or contaminated foreign pharmaceuticals. Tens of millions of Americans who depend on life-saving medications could be at-risk of receiving tainted medicine from countries like China that do not abide by our laws and do not have America’s best interests in mind.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today voted for comprehensive legislation to lower drug costs for all Americans. The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) ends the ban on Medicare negotiating directly with drug companies and creates powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions.
Washington, DC — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today announced two $125,000 Drug-Free Community grants for the Youngstown Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (YUMADAOP) and the Coalition for a Drug-Free Mahoning County. The grants come from the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program from the White House’s Office of the National Drug Control Policy to engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems.
Washington, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Lauren Underwood (D-IL), and Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduced bipartisan legislation to combat infant mortality by investing in the Healthy Start for Infants Program. The Healthy Start Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 4801) reauthorizes appropriations for this program for five years at $135 million. For every 1,000 live births in the United States, nearly six babies will not live to see their first birthday. According to the CDC, one in 10 babies is born premature, the leading cause of infant death.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today recognized National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. September 13th was designated National Celiac Disease Awareness Day in order to shed light on an issue that affects three million Americans living with celiac disease – a genetic autoimmune disorder in which ingesting gluten causes damage to the villi of the small intestine. It also honors Dr. Samuel Gee, a pioneer in celiac disease research who first identified the link between celiac disease and diet. He was born on September 13, 1839.
Washington, DC – Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Troy Balderson (R-OH) introduced a bipartisan bill to help improve prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and reduce opioid abuse. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act (H.R. 3974) would push states to enhance their use of prescription drug monitoring programs, a powerful tool to prevent opioid abuse. To view the full bill click here. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Senate companion.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) issued the following statement regarding House repeal of the Cadillac Tax. The Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019 (H.R. 748) repeals the 40 percent excise tax on high value employer-sponsored health insurance. The tax provision was supposed to take effect in 2022. It applied to health insurance coverage with a value estimated to be above $11,200 for self-only coverage and $32,100 for family coverage.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) applauds the passage of the FY 2020 Appropriations combined spending package which contains the Defense, Energy and Water, Labor/Health and Human Services/Education, and State and Foreign Operations spending bills.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) praised the passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 (H.R. 299). The House of Representatives passed the bill last night with a vote of 410-0. It now moves to the Senate for a vote. The bill would provide benefits to 90,000 Blue Water Navy veterans who were exposed to dioxin – a toxin found in Agent Orange -- during the Vietnam War.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13)--a member of the Defense Appropriations Committee--voted in support of the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations Act, a bill that supports our warfighters, restores military readiness, and bolsters our Armed Forces. This minibus also included funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The bill now heads to the President for his signature.