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Improving Health Care and Lowering Costs

Debbie believes that health care is a basic human right and it must be our goal to create a universal health care system.

Debbie is focused on protecting health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and lowering health care and prescription drug costs for families and small businesses. She has authored legislation to allow more people to buy into Medicare and a bill that cuts taxes to make it more affordable for small businesses to provide health coverage to their employees. Debbie also authored legislation to allow people to buy safe, low-cost prescription drugs from Canada and to give Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices for seniors. She’s also leading the fight to ban “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling customers when they could save money by paying out-of-pocket instead of using their insurance.

Debbie is a national leader on women’s health care. She led the fight to ensure that maternity coverage is included as an essential benefit in health insurance plans, and she believes that women have the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions.

She’s also leading the fight against the No. 1 killer of women – heart disease. Her bipartisan HEART for Women Act means that today women are better represented in clinical trials to determine whether new medical treatments are safe and effective for women.

A nationally recognized leader on mental health, Debbie passed her Excellence in Mental Health Act that put community mental health centers on an equal footing with other health centers by improving quality standards and offering new services like 24-hour crisis psychiatric care. Debbie has led the effort to increase funding for community health centers and for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (MIChild).

Thanks to Debbie’s bipartisan work to support Alzheimer’s patients and their families, Medicare and the Department of Defense’s TRICARE system now cover care planning visits to provide patients and caregivers vital information on treatment options and services. She has also successfully fought for increased funding for health research.

When the outrageous Flint water crisis happened, Debbie went into action, leading efforts to pass $170 million in assistance for Flint to repair and replace pipes and to address the critical health needs of children and families affected by the health crisis. She led the effort to expand Medicaid health care in Flint for children up to age 21 and pregnant women, and secured millions in emergency Head Start, healthy foods, and mental health funding to help children and residents. In addition, Debbie authored new assistance for other communities who have water problems.

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