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

Jul 12, 2019 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) voted in support of H.R. 1327, the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, a bill she proudly cosponsors. Brooks provided the following statement:    

Jun 10, 2019 In The News

WASHINGTON (CN) – Between 1999 and 2017, nearly 400,000 people in the United States died from overdoses involving opioids and by 2017, over 2 million people had been diagnosed with an opioid use disorder. Legal aid may be the key to facilitating recovery for them.

The Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit organization established by Congress to provide legal services to low-income Americans, shared these facts Monday along with 13 recommendations on how to better integrate legal services in communities to confront this epidemic.

Jun 6, 2019 In The News

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Opioid Task Force will release its report on Monday, June 10, offering recommendations on how legal aid providers can collaborate with the medical, judicial, law enforcement, and other communities to best confront the opioid crisis. The event, to be held in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, is sponsored by the House Access to Civil Legal Services Caucus, whose four Co-Chairs will speak: Representatives Susan Brooks (IN-5), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4), and Fred Upton (MI-6).

May 17, 2019 In The News

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) on May 15 introduced bipartisan legislation that would protect health insurance coverage for mammography screenings.

“Women of all ages are affected by breast cancer and every woman should be able to access mammograms when they need them,” Rep. Brooks said on Wednesday. “Taking preventative measures, such as having mammograms, are key components to combating a disease that takes the lives of too many Hoosiers and Americans.”

May 15, 2019 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DCToday, Congresswomen Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL23) reintroduced the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act. The PALS Act would postpone U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations that could severely limit women’s access to mammograms, and was passed previously extending the moratorium on USPSTF guidelines to 2021.

May 6, 2019 In The News

U.S. Rep Susan Brooks (R-IN) on May 1 introduced bipartisan legislation that would authorize more medical residency positions across the country to help combat the ongoing opioid crisis.

Rep. Brooks is an original cosponsor of the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019, H.R. 2439, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), which would “increase the otherwise applicable resident limit for each qualifying hospital” through 2025, according to the text of the bill.

May 4, 2019 In The News

On Thursday, U.S. Representatives Susan W. Brooks (R-Ind.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019, to train more doctors equipped to combat the opioid epidemic.

Feb 28, 2019 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY09), both members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the Mobile Health Records Act.

Feb 27, 2019 In The News

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved bipartisan legislation U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) authored to turn the Poison Control Network into part of the nation’s preparedness and response to the opioid crisis.

Feb 26, 2019 In The News

The House on Monday passed the bipartisan Poison Center Network Enhancement Act to give the network more leeway to help with the opioid crisis. The bill funds the poison control network phone number and would also give people the ability to text the network. “The bill is a critical piece of the puzzle because it allows the national network of poison control centers to help people who are struggling with addiction by offering free, confidential and expert medical advice at all hours, every day of the year,” Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., said in a statement.