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
Congressman Tim Ryan issued the following response after the announcement that a nurse with ties to Akron, Ohio has tested positive for the Ebola virus:
“First, I want to thank all of our health officials in Northeast Ohio and across the country for their dedication and willingness to treat this disease. I would like to offer my support to the family of Amber Joy Vinson, and trust that she will receive the best care available. I am sure this is a difficult time for them and it is my hope for her to be healthy again as soon as possible.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan announces a grant award of $3.6M from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to Drs. David Fresco and Joel Hughes of Kent State University and Dr. Jeffrey Greeson of the University of Pennsylvania. The grant award will fund a 5-year study called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for High Blood Pressure.
Warren, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan applauds the FDA for enforcing ‘gluten-free’ labeling standards and calls on the Administration to move forward with establishing guidelines to identify gluten in medications. Last year, the FDA created a rule that disallowed food manufacturers from labeling any food ‘gluten-free,’ unless the product contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten – which is generally recognized by the medical community as a low enough amount of wheat, rye or barley to not affect those with celiac disease.
WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) held a news conference in Cleveland today to discuss The Breaking Addiction Act of 2014 (H.R. 5136). The legislation was introduced by Congresswoman Fudge and cosponsored by Congressman Ryan. It establishes a five-year demonstration project to expand cost-effective, community-based treatment options to address the heroin/opiate epidemic.
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tim Ryan today issues the following statement in response to the Supreme Court Ruling allowing exceptions for some corporations from having to comply with the contraceptives mandate within the affordable health care act:
WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan (D – OH) and Congressman Steve Stivers (R – OH) today introduced the Speeding Access to Already Approved Pharmaceuticals Act of 2014. The bill requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the review of pharmaceuticals that are approved by the European Union (EU).
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.