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

Oct 15, 2018 In The News

The Legal Services Corporation’s Opioid Task Force is coming to Indianapolis for its first field hearing, which will include an examination of Indiana’s statewide response to the opioid crisis.

Oct 10, 2018 In The News

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is working to determine the best method of crafting a 10-year global health security vision to protect national interests, according to a recent CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security meeting.

Sep 26, 2018 In The News

On Friday, Sept. 22nd, The Department of Health and Human Services announced that they will distribute more than $1 billion in grants to states and territories amidst the opioid and heroin crisis. Indiana will receive a grant for $27.8 million to help combat the ongoing drug epidemic.

The grants will be given through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sep 25, 2018 In The News

Indiana will receive a grant for $27.8 million to help combat the ongoing drug epidemic. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced it will distribute more than $1 billion in grants to states and territories in the battle against opioid abuse.

The grant is in addition to the initial $21 million that Indiana already received through the 21st Century Cures Act.

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.