Issue Position: Healthcare

Issue Position

Ed believes a strong health care system is the foundation for a robust economy. He has fought to protect and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid so that the most vulnerable in society can access benefits. Ed's a fierce advocate for medical research and promoting the healthcare technologies that are central to the Massachusetts and national economies. Ed believes that ensuring that all people in our state and nation have access to affordable quality health care reflects the character of our country.

Voted for ObamaCare

Ed voted in support of ObamaCare, which builds on many of the improvements found in the 2006 Massachusetts health reform law. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 legislation's critical provisions include: 1) ending abusive health insurance practices like denying people health coverage based on pre-existing conditions and charging women higher premiums; 2) strengthening Medicare benefits and providing seniors a discount on certain prescription drugs; 3) allowing young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance plan until they turn 26 years old; and 4) providing parity in coverage of mental illnesses.

The law moves us from a "sick care" system to a "health care" system, investing heavily in preventive services and in health information technology to lower costs, reduce medical errors, and improve the coordination of health care services.

Supporting Women's Health

Congressman Markey is a strong proponent of ObamaCare, which ensures that preventive services -- such as breast cancer screenings and contraception --are available free of charge.

Endorsed by NARAL, Ed is pro-choice and a strong champion of a woman's ability to make her own decisions about her reproductive health. He voted against the "Stupak Amendment," which would have denied women the ability to purchase private insurance plans that cover abortion services, even when using their own money. Ed believed this represented an unprecedented intrusion between a woman
and her doctor, and he voted against it.

Ed is also a leading advocate for investing in research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to prevent, treat, and cure diseases that affect women, including breast and lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression and Alzheimer's.

Protecting Medicare

Medicare represents a promise our country made to its seniors that they will have health care security when they retire. Ed is committed to upholding that promise and will continue to lead the fight against any effort to cut benefits for seniors. He strongly opposed the Ryan Budget, which would have ended
Medicare as we know it by turning the program into a voucher program.

Preventing Cuts to Medicaid

In addition to providing affordable health care for low-income families, children, and individuals with disabilities, Medicaid covers nursing home care of two-thirds of current Massachusetts residents. Ed believes we must fight any cuts to this safety-net program, which provides critical services to 1.6 million
people in Massachusetts. Ed voted against a proposal that would have slashed $1.4 trillion from the program, eliminated coverage for millions, and forced major cuts in benefits.

Investing in Medical Research

The field of medical research is central to the Massachusetts economy and to the health and well-being of our residents. Federal funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports 35,000 jobs in Massachusetts, which receives more NIH funding per capita than any other state. Ed is a leader in the effort to ensure full funding for NIH, supporting our researchers and helping Massachusetts remain the global leader in medical research and biotechnology. Ed also led the reform at the FDA to greatly expand an online clinical trials registry database so the public can determine which medications are the subject of clinical trials.

Fighting Alzheimer's Disease

As the Founder and Co-Chairman of the Bipartisan Alzheimer's Task Force, Ed authored legislation that created the first-ever strategic national plan to tackle the Alzheimer's epidemic. The National Alzheimer's Plan, hailed by advocates as the most significant legislative victory for Alzheimer's in
decades, lays out a coordinated research and funding strategy to conquer this disease by 2025.

Improving Healthcare for Seniors

Ed co-authored Independence at Home, an innovative payment model designed to lower Medicare costs by improving the quality of care seniors receive. Under Independence at Home, chronically-ill, frail seniors can receive coordinated care in the comfort of their own homes, easing the burden both on the patient and their caregivers. If the team of doctors responsible for coordinating the patient's treatment provides high-quality care while lowering costs, the providers are eligible to share in the savings.

Promoting Pediatric Health

Ed has long championed improvements in pediatric health. In 2007, he authored legislation that funds the development of medical devices intended to treat pediatric patients with rare diseases. Because the population is so small, it is challenging, expensive, and risky for device companies to develop these types of products. Ed's legislation helps connect pediatricians and inventors with the resources and guidance they need to develop their ideas into devices that benefit kids.

Supporting Mental Health Parity

In 2008, Ed was proud to co-sponsor and vote for the Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act to ensure that individuals with substance use or mental health problems have access to critically important treatment and preventive services. The recently passed health care reform law now provides that individuals with these illnesses will have insurance coverage for treatment of these disorders equal to other health conditions like diabetes or asthma.