There is a real need of reform in our healthcare system to reduce costs and expand access to quality care for all Americans. We must also protect the sanctity of human life and prevent the misuse of federal taxpayer dollars for abortion.
Streamlining the FDA Approval Process for Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices
As a major life sciences corridor, southwest Michigan is a national leader in healthcare research and manufacturing. In 2011 and 2012, I led the way in the House for the successful reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) user fee programs for prescription drugs and medical devices. By improving the federal evaluation and approval processes, we significantly help manufactures here in Michigan and throughout the country better compete with companies overseas, allowing them to bring their life-saving products to patients faster. My FDA reform bill also supports advancements in generic drugs and biosimilars, helps prevent future drug shortages, and promotes treatment options for children with rare diseases.
Repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
I am flatly opposed to any sort of healthcare overhaul that would add billions of dollars to our deficit, raise taxes, destroy jobs, and cause Americans to lose their current coverage. That is why I voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, and now support its full repeal. I was one of the first Members of Congress to sign a pledge vowing to support legislation that would (1) repeal any government takeover of healthcare passed in 2010 and (2) support real, commonsense reforms focused on lowering costs and increasing accessibility.
Replacing PPACA with Cost-Saving Reforms
Rather than passing costly government mandates, Congress should work toward commonsense reforms that lower costs, expand access to quality medical care, and protect the sacred doctor-patient relationship. I believe there is broad support for proposals like allowing individuals to purchase coverage across state lines, expanding Health Savings Accounts, and enacting meaningful tort reform.
Keeping Doctors in the Medicare Program
I helped negotiate the bipartisan that prevented a 30 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement for doctors that would have otherwise kicked in this year. Without action, reimbursements would have dramatically decreased for physicians who care for Medicare patients – forcing many providers to stop accepting Medicare patients altogether. Going forward, I support elimination of the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that is current used for Medicare physician reimbursement in favor of a method that is fair to doctors, patients, and taxpayers.
Protecting the Sanctity of Human Life
As a pro-life Member of Congress, I oppose the misuse of federal taxpayer dollars for abortion services. As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I have worked to pass legislation – such as Representative Joe Pitts’ Protect Life Act – to permanently codify restrictions on federal abortion funding. I have supported both the successful ban on partial-birth abortion and the passage of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which recognizes an unborn child as a legal victim. I have also supported efforts to criminalize the circumvention of parental notification laws and have fought to uphold the “conscience clause,” which protects healthcare providers who refuse to provide abortion services.