Ensuring that all Hoosiers have access to quality, affordable healthcare is one of my top priorities in Congress. I will continue to fight to improve our nation’s healthcare system by lowering costs, expanding access, and protecting Medicare and Medicaid.
The Affordable Care Act
In March of 2010, I voted to pass the Affordable Care Act, historic legislation overhauling our nation’s broken health-care system. Today, I am proud to say today that the Affordable Care Act is—and will remain—the law of the land.
I have seen the real impact the Affordable Care Act is having in the lives of Hoosiers. Since it took effect, the uninsured rate has been cut almost in half, and 20 million Americans have gained coverage. These reforms have brought quality, affordable coverage to millions of Americans, and put in place important consumer protections. For example, the ACA guarantees coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions, requires insurance plans to include essential health benefits and free preventative care, and prohibits lifetime and annual caps on benefits.
In Indiana, since the ACA was implemented:
- 245,000 Hoosiers have gained coverage
- The uninsured rate has declined from 15.3% in 2013 to 10.1% in 2017
- 168,884 Hoosiers received coverage through ACA Marketplace, 139,437 of whom received a subsidy
- 361,700 Hoosiers gained coverage through Medicaid expansion
- 50,000 young adults have been able to stay on their parents plans until 26
- 2.9 million Hoosiers now have private insurance that is required to cover preventive services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles
- Roughly 1.2 million Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions could be at risk of losing coverage if the ACA is repealed
- 123,302 seniors have saved an average of $1,035 as a result of the donut hole closing
The Affordable Care Act was an important first step, but it was not perfect. I have supported a broad range of ideas to fix what does not work, and I encourage my colleagues and the Trump Administration to put politics aside and build on our progress. Going forward, I also believe we need to further expand upon the ACA’s gains in order to reach more Americans and further lower costs.
If you need help searching for plans on the health insurance marketplace, you can learn more by:
- Visiting the online website at www.healthcare.gov
- Finding an In-Person Assister, also called a Navigator, by visiting https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/.
- Calling the 24-Hour Affordable Care Act Call Center at 800-318-2596.
Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 and Medicaid Expansion in Indiana
Our nation’s healthcare system has been broken for too long, with many Americans facing rising costs, inadequate protections, and unequal access to care. For example, in just a 12-mile stretch along the Monon Trail here in Central Indiana, the average life expectancy falls from 81—the same as Norway—to 67—that of Ghana. I have long been proud to support Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, our safety-net hospitals and community health centers, and Medicaid, all critical elements of our healthcare safety net.
Medicaid is the bedrock of care we provide for the most needy in our society, including millions of poor, elderly, and disabled Americans. I proudly voted against the Republican bills to gut Medicaid last year, and proudly support Medicaid expansion in Indiana—made possible by the Affordable Care Act. Indiana’s Medicaid expansion, known as HIP 2.0, has expanded healthcare coverage to almost 400,000 Hoosiers, most of whom were previously uninsured. I would have always preferred a traditional Medicaid expansion, which would have put in place fewer barriers to Hoosiers in need of healthcare coverage, and am particularly concerned about changes that would scale back the program, like requirements that many individuals work in order to receive healthcare. These changes will result in too many of my constituents falling through the cracks and losing access to care.
I will continue to work with community leaders to educate all Hoosiers to ensure that they receive the best benefits and healthcare possible.
Medicare and Protecting The Health of Our Seniors
Medicare is a federal insurance program that pays for covered health care services of qualified beneficiaries, including individuals 65 and older. I have continuously fought to protect our seniors from the rising costs of healthcare. As my colleagues and I continue to look for ways to make Medicare more efficient, I am committed to maintaining a high quality of care.
- Access to health services and prescription drugs through Medicare is only the first hurdle our seniors face as they deal with problems such as serious illnesses and living on fixed-incomes. The Affordable Care Act eased some of the burdens on seniors by expanding Medicare coverage and helping seniors close the gap between coverage and out of pocket expenses for prescription drugs. It also extended the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by nearly a decade, and I continue to believe that we should take responsible steps to shore up the program, without breaking our promises to seniors.
Lowering Drug Prices
With millions of Americans depending on lifesaving prescription drugs, ensuring that all Americans have access to the drugs they need is critical. Unfortunately, Congress and the Administration have largely failed to address the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs. With many Hoosiers employed by pharmaceutical companies, we should not paint the whole industry with a broad brush, and we need to consider their investments in lifesaving treatments. I also strongly support efforts to increase medical research, especially at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, making sure all Hoosiers can afford their medicines should be one of Congress’ top priorities.
Too many Hoosiers suffer from the scourge of drug abuse, and too few receive the treatment they need. Hoosiers are now more likely to die from a drug overdose than a car accident, and 59,000 Hoosiers died in 2016. I have been proud to support efforts in Congress to address this crisis, but what we have done so far is not enough. We need to dedicate more funding towards prevention and treatment, to treat the full spectrum of drug and substance abuse, and to support Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, which provide critical protections and care to many impacted individuals.
More on Health Care
Washington, DC – Congressman André Carson (D-IN) lauded the House’s passage of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes an amendment he authored that will authorize five million dollars for a pancreatic cancer early detection initiative (EDI) at the Department of Defense (DoD). The provision will provide critical funding needed for more research and an early detection initiative (EDI) under the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at DoD.
Washington, DC – Congressman André Carson (D-IN) has introduced legislation to honor the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic through the creation of a memorial quilt. The COVID-19 Memorial Quilt Act of 2020 (H.R. 7161) inspired by the iconic NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, authorizes development of a plan to design, create, and display a memorial quilt commemorating the Americans who died from COVID-19.
WHAT REFORM MEANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Helping Small Business Provide Health Insurance To Their Employees
ENSURING FAIR PAY
Although women make up a nearly half of the American workforce, women in Indiana still earn only about 75 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Because this issue of discrimination affects women and families, I support the Paycheck Fairness Act
WHAT REFORM MEANS FOR LATINOS
The benefits and protections in this new law are particularly critical to Latinos, who have the highest rates of un-insurance in the nation. This historic legislation ensures that nine million Latinos will now have access to health insurance.
WHAT REFORM MEANS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS
Insurance Reforms that Save Families Money
• All lifetime limits on how much insurance companies cover if beneficiaries get sick are eliminated, and insurance companies are now prohibited from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. The Act also restricts the use of annual limits in all new plans and existing employer plans this year, until 2014 when all annual limits for these plans are prohibited.
WHAT HEALTH CARE REFORM MEANS FOR SENIORS
Lower Costs for America's Seniors
WHAT REFORM MEANS FOR EARLY-RETIREES
Access to Information Is Improved. This legislation provides standardized, easy-to-understand information explaining the differences between health insurance plans made available through the Exchanges and/or that are offered in a particular geographic region. As a result, early-retirees will be able to more easily compare prices, benefits, and performance of health plans. Early-retirees will now be able to decide which health insurance option is right for them.
WHAT REFORM MEANS FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES