Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Health Care Reform

Under Obamacare, premiums and deductibles are skyrocketing, insurers are fleeing the health care exchanges and people are left with a health care system that doesn’t work for them and their families. Obamacare is failing, and that’s why the House acted to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This legislation repeals Obamacare, restores competition and choice to the health care marketplace and lowers insurance premiums. The AHCA ensures that no one can be denied coverage, including people with pre-existing conditions. In addition, no-one, regardless of health status, will be charged higher premiums if they maintain their coverage. Finally, this bill prohibits insurers from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition. The AHCA must now be considered by the Senate. To read more about the AHCA, click here.

In 2017, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and I introduced H.R. 2307, the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings Act (PALS Act). The PALS Act would postpone recent United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations that could severely limit women’s access to mammograms, especially for women younger than 49 years old. Recently drafted recommendations from the USPSTF gave annual mammograms for women ages 40-49 a “C” rating, meaning that there is at least a moderate certainty that the net benefit of the procedure is small and that the screenings should be performed only selectively. The proposed recommendations also state that women 50-74 need mammograms only every other year. The USPSTF’s drafted recommendations could limit critical access to lifesaving breast exams for millions of women because insurance companies would no longer be required to fully cover mammograms for women younger than 49 years old. The PALS Act would postpone the USPSTF recommendations for two years and allow Congress to review concerns about the USPSTF and the impact these recommendations would have on women being screened for cancer.

In addition to making common sense health care reforms to lower healthcare costs, increase accessibility and improve the quality of care, we must also ensure that we continue to drive innovation and research into the next generation of treatments and cures. We made progress with the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed into law in 2016. It is an innovation game-changer that accelerates the discovery, development, and delivery of safe cures and treatments for families across the country, and keeps the United States on the cutting edge of medical innovation.

As part of 21st Century Cures, H.R. 3299, the Strengthening Public Health Emergency Response Act, was signed into law. I introduced this legislation with Rep. Anna Eschoo (D-CA) to improve U.S. biodefense efforts and incentivize the development of vaccines for dangerous and deadly pathogens as identified by the Department of Homeland Security. Read more about my efforts to strengthen U.S. biodefense here

At the same time, $1 billion was included in 21st Century Cures to address the heroin and opioid abuse crisis and support programs and grants signed into law as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). To read more about CARA and efforts to address substance abuse click here

In addition, 21st Century Cures made great strides to reform our mental healthcare system to improve care for those with mental illness, strengthen our nation’s mental health workforce, and ensure communication between providers, families and patients. To read more about efforts to improve mental health care and end the stigma associated with mental illness, click here. 

To read an op-ed I co-authored with six other members of the Indiana Congressional Delegation about healthcare reform, click here.

To read an op-ed I wrote about how 21st Century Cures will help people get the treatment and care they need, click here.

To watch my floor statement about potential for 21st Century Cures to save lives, like my dear friend Judy Warren who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2015, click here. For more information on the 21st Century Cures act, click here

More on Health Care Reform

Dec 14, 2017 In The News

Health IT Now — a coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers and payers — presented select members of Congress Tuesday with Health IT Pioneer awards, the organization's highest honor.

The Health IT Pioneer awards recognize legislators who push for technology-focused solutions in healthcare. 

Here are 14 lawmakers who received the award.

Dec 3, 2017 In The News

KOKOMO — Garrett Young believes he has been to hell.

Young, 23, is a recovering spice addict who for two years smoked the synthetic drug each day, waking up in the mornings and probing the carpet for another bowl of spice.

When high? Life felt right, he says. Normal.

Coming down off the drug? Every time was miserable, a daily withdrawal. Another chapter in the addict’s relentless journey for the next brief, unsatisfying respite.

But one day, a time preceded by stretches of homelessness and nights spent in a Little League park, Young’s eyes were opened.

Oct 9, 2017 In The News

A new bill co-sponsored by two Republican lawmakers aims to address “life-threatening” cybersecurity vulnerabilities with medical devices by bringing together regulators, manufacturers and providers to develop new device guidelines.

Oct 9, 2017 In The News

New legislation from two Republican lawmakers looks to lay out a cybersecurity framework which protects sensitive healthcare information from cyber attacks.

Oct 5, 2017 News Releases

Washington, D.C. – Today, during National Health IT Week, U.S. Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN05) and Dave Trott (R-MI11) introduced the Internet of Medical Things Resilience Partnership Act, which creates a public-private stakeholder partnership to lay out a cybersecurity framework to protect protects Americans’ sensitive healthcare information from cyber-attacks.

Oct 4, 2017 News Releases

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced a bill that would strengthen protections for Medicare beneficiaries who buy blood glucose testing supplies through the National Mail Order Competitive Bidding Program (CBP). Today, the Energy and Commerce Full Committee held a markup where a number of bills were voted on and passed to strengthen and improve Medicare, including H.R.

Sep 15, 2017 In The News

Washington, DC – Congressional Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs Tom Reed (R-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) led several colleagues in sending a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the immediate reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program.

Set to expire on September 30th, the SDP provides federal funding for diabetes research and prevention and management programs for high-risk populations. It enjoys broad, bipartisan support.

Sep 13, 2017 In The News

Congressional Diabetes Caucus Co-Chairs Tom Reed (R-Corning) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) led several colleagues in sending a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the immediate reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program.

Set to expire on Sept. 30, the program provides federal funding for diabetes research and prevention and management programs for high-risk populations. It enjoys broad, bipartisan support.

Aug 10, 2017 News Releases

Carmel, IN – Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) issued the following statement after President Trump verbally declared the opioid crisis a national emergency:

“I am in strong agreement of the President’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a national emergency. Too many lives have been lost to this sweeping epidemic in Indiana and across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recent data estimates the opioid epidemic is taking the lives of 142 Americans every single day. That number of lives lost is devastating.”

Aug 2, 2017 In The News

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced a bill on Monday that would ensure Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities adhere to policies that are in place to ensure that female veterans have access to critical health care services.

Brooks introduced the Improve Access to Care for Our Female Veterans Act, H.R. 3558, in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found VA medical facilities often fail to comply with policies that protect the privacy, safety and dignity of female veterans.