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

Sep 18, 2018 In The News

More than two dozen Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed on as original cosponsors to a new federal resolution that restates their support for retaining protections for Americans with pre-existing health conditions regardless of what happens legislatively to Obamacare.

Numerous Republicans seek to fix the nation’s broken health care system via amendments or repeal of Obamacare, the nickname for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010.

Aug 13, 2018 In The News

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) -

Experts say opioid addiction at the local, state and national level isn't slowing down, but neither are efforts to curb the epidemic and help those suffering from addiction.

Lawmakers, healthcare specialists and law enforcement officials gathered in Fort Wayne Monday morning to discuss what they call a very complex issue.

Jul 11, 2018 In The News

Matthias Vescelus is like most 9-year-old boys. He enjoys sports, appreciates a good story and loves to spend time with his family and friends.

The Noblesville youth is also a cancer survivor, who lost his sight to the disease.

But he’s making a difference in the world for other kids who are struggling from similar afflictions.

Jun 14, 2018 In The News

ANDERSON — The former administrator for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services believes insurance coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions is under attack.

Andy Slavitt said Thursday during a conference call with Indiana reporters that an action by the U.S. Department of Justice could end the guaranteed coverage provided through the Affordable Care Act.

Jun 13, 2018 In The News

It’s all about opioids as the U.S. House of Representatives considers dozens of bills to help tackle this epidemic, which claims 116 lives each day across the country. Senate Committees are also advancing bills that likewise incorporate dozens of proposals.

Jun 6, 2018 In The News

WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Committee today released the third video in a series featuring committee members highlighting their legislative efforts to combat the opioid crisis. These videos will highlight just a handful of the 57 legislative solutions the committee advanced to the full House in May.

Jun 5, 2018 In The News

It’s been more than two years since Carmel 6-year-old Brooks Blackmore died after a battle with brain cancer. His parents, Josh and Tracey Blackmore, said the pain is still very real, but they feel the love and support of friends and family as they try to make a positive difference in Brooks’ name.

May 24, 2018 In The News

People in every state across the country with terminal diseases or diseases with shorter life-expectancy rates deserve to have the option to access unapproved investigational drugs so they can have the opportunity to find treatments for their specific conditions.

I am proud this fair and compassionate bill is on its way to the president’s desk to be signed into law so more people in our country have the opportunity to access experimental drugs and therapies that could significantly improve or save their lives.

Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana

May 24, 2018 In The News

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce completed its second mark-up of legislation focused on combating the opioid and heroin crisis. The Committee passed 32 bills, two of which were recently introduced by Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05).

May 24, 2018 In The News

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Fred Upton (R-MI) commended passage of a comprehensive bipartisan pediatric cancer bill on May 22 by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act of 2018, S. 292, approved by the U.S. Senate on March 22, now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.