Health Care

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Mike supports The Affordable Care Act (ACA) which became law in 2010. Millions of Americans now have access to affordable health care as a result of this legislation, which also prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition and allows young people to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. The Trump Administration is determined to do away with this law. Mike is fighting to prevent its repeal and replacement.

During the debate over health care reform, Mike worked hard to protect Massachusetts’ important academic medical centers. As a result, $4 billion in funding was preserved for Massachusetts’ health care system, which is also a major employer.

Mike strongly supports universal health care coverage and was disappointed that health care reform did not include a public insurance option, something he fought hard to add to the final bill. Mike consistently sponsors legislation to create a single payer system and supports other opportunities to establish a public option.

Since passage of health care reform, the House voted more than 60 times to repeal all or part of the law. Much of this legislative activity came after the Supreme Court upheld the law. Now that Republicans control the House, Senate and White House they are working to dismantle the ACA. Legislation has already passed the House and a separate bill is under consideration in the Senate.

Mike has long fought to make high quality, affordable insurance available to all.

  • He co-founded the bipartisan House Caucus on Community Health Centers with another urban Democrat and two rural Republican colleagues from Texas and Florida;
  • To ensure that insurance truly translates into access, he has been working to expand the Community Health Center program and is pleased that the ACA provides additional funding for community health centers;
  • Since founding the caucus, Mike has fought for additional funding. When the Bush Administration made expansion of community health centers a priority, Mike championed this bipartisan effort. Over the last decade, enrollment in community health centers has more than doubled.

Mike works tirelessly to help Massachusetts retain its preeminence in health care education and innovation. Our medical schools and teaching hospitals provide world-class health care, create thousands of high quality jobs and sustain growth industries such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Mike recognizes that these institutions are an important component of the Commonwealth’s safety net. Boston’s internationally acclaimed Children’s Hospital is the number one provider of care to low-income children on Medicaid in Massachusetts, yet before Mike Capuano came to its aid, federal funds were not available for Graduate Medical Education (GME) in pediatrics. GME is funded through the Medicare program, so hospitals not serving patients within the Medicare population were not eligible. Mike urged Boston Children’s to unite with pediatric hospitals nationwide to secure support for their interns and residents. With his help, they succeeded.

Mike remains concerned about discrimination based on health status and disparities in access to health care. He has:

  • Championed the Boston Public Commission’s REACH initiative, which uses federal seed money to mobilize community health education and empowerment and increase diagnostic screenings in underserved neighborhoods;
  • Co-sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act;
  • Fought successfully to restore funding for Boston Steps, part of the federal government’s Steps to Healthier U.S. initiative which provided funding for chronic disease control and prevention, particularly in areas where significant health disparities persist;
  • Led congressional efforts to increase funding for the Ryan White program, an initiative dedicated to ensuring that care for those living with HIV and AIDS;
  • Led the effort to ensure that a number of Boston institutions, such as Boston Medical Center, would continue serving as federally funded HIV-AIDS clinical research sites investigating new treatments. Maintaining these sites was vital to ensuring that diverse groups of patients have access to the latest treatments.

 

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