Protecting and Strengthening Medicare and Medicaid, Improving Care, Controlling Costs, and Investing in Research
Senator Reed has supported efforts to improve the quality of our health care system and reduce costs for consumers, and has been nationally recognized for his work to provide all children with access to affordable health care. He helped author key provisions of the health insurance reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to give individuals and families more choice and more control over their health care.
For the first time, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for a pre-existing condition, charge women higher insurance rates, or put an annual or lifetime cap on how much they will pay for care. The ACA addresses these unfair practices, gives more people the chance to afford insurance, as well as preserves and strengthens employer-based insurance and federal programs like Medicare.
Reed is also steadfastly committed to preserving and protecting Medicare and Medicaid, improving the health of Rhode Islanders and the quality of the care they receive, and lowering costs without slashing benefits. Throughout his career, Reed has worked to support Rhode Island’s Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) program, RIte Care, with additional federal funds. RIte Care provides over 200,000 Rhode Islanders with vital assistance. Without this program, many would likely go without needed care or make costly trips to emergency rooms.
Reed helped broker a bipartisan agreement that prevented over 600,000 children nationwide from potentially losing their health insurance and boosted SCHIP funding for Rhode Island from $13.2 million to $69.5 million – the highest percentage increase of any state.
He also wrote the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act, a law that expands research programs aimed at improving childhood cancer treatments and research. And he has earned national recognition for increasing funds for vital immunization and disease prevention programs for children and adults, as well as for his work to expand healthy housing options and prevent lead poisoning.
Reed has delivered federal funds to help Rhode Island combat the opioid epidemic and ensure evidence-based education, treatment, and recovery programs that work. He wrote the Overdose Prevention Act, which aims to decrease the rate of drug overdose deaths by improving access for first responders to the overdose antidote Naloxone, supporting overdose prevention programs, enhancing surveillance of overdose occurrences, and establishing a coordinated federal plan of action to address the opioid epidemic.