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, D.C. - Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) today introduced the Expansion of Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act, which will create a grant program for U.S. Medical Schools and Osteopathic Colleges to create an integrated nutrition curriculum program.
Congressman Tim Ryan today issued the following response to the Senate Finance Committee passage of an amendment extending the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC):
“I commend the Senate Finance Committee’s vote, which is important not only to many Delphi Salaried Retirees of my District, but many others across the country. We need to help those who have lost pensions and benefits and make sure they can afford adequate health care coverage. “
Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Tim Ryan and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) today introduced the bipartisan Medical Evaluation Parity for Service Members (MEPS) Act (H.R. 4305). The bill, which has 13 bipartisan cosponsors and the support of a large number of military and mental health advocacy groups, will help the military identify behavioral health issues and improve suicide prevention by instituting a mental health assessment for all incoming military recruits.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), members of the Senate Committee on Finance, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Turner (R-OH) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) led a letter signed by 28 lawmakers to Congressional leaders pushing for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) to be extended, an issue of particular importance to retired United Steelworkers and Delphi salaried retirees struggling to maintain affordable healthcare.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan today issued the following statement in response to Senate Republicans refusing to end debate on the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014. This legislation contains many provisions sought by Congressman Ryan in his Veterans and Armed Forces Health Promotion Act of 2013:
Washington DC – Congressman Tim Ryan responded today to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) recent report regarding the budget and economic outlook for the next ten years. He argued against the House Republican’s accusations that Americans are leaving the workforce or cutting back their hours because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) incentivizes Americans to become lazy or complacent. Congressman Ryan questioned CBO Director Doug Elmendorf at the House Budget Committee on the distinction of who are these individuals leaving the workforce or reducing their working hours.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan makes the following statement on the agreement to fully integrate Ravenna, Ohio’s Robinson Memorial Hospital into the University Hospitals health system:
I am pleased to see that Robinson Memorial Hospital will be fully integrated into the University Hospitals health system. Robinson Memorial Hospital and University Hospital both have a long and proven record of providing high-quality care and this partnership will bring new investments and innovative services to the region, which will benefit our community for years to come.
Congressman Tim Ryan made the following statement in response to yesterday’s announcement that more than 25 million seniors on Medicare have received one or more free preventative services in 2013 due to the Affordable Care Act:
Washington DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) introduced H.R. 2783 today as an amendment to the Budget agreement worked out by the House of Representatives and Senate, H.J.Res.59. This legislation provides Delphi retirees and other eligible individuals the choice of continuing within the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) program past the program’s December 31, 2013 termination date or leaving the program.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan and 19 Members of Congress requested today that the Department of Health and Human Services use the full extent of their authority to require additional disclosure from insurers who are sending health plan cancellation letters to customers.
A copy of the text sent to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is available here.