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Health Care

Fighting for Affordable Care and a Healthier Rhode Island

Senator Reed believes that health care should be affordable and accessible to all.  He has long supported efforts to improve the quality of our health care system and reduce costs for consumers, and he has continued this steadfast work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Reed has also been nationally recognized for his work on children’s health, and he helped author key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in order to give individuals and families more choice and more control over their health care.

Reed is a leader when it comes to lowering prescription drug costs, and is committed to preserving and protecting Medicare and Medicaid, improving the quality of the care Rhode Islanders receive, and lowering costs without slashing benefits.  He has sought to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prices for American consumers, and worked throughout his career to infuse Rhode Island’s Medicaid program with additional federal funds.

Reed helped broker a bipartisan agreement that prevented over 600,000 children nationwide from potentially losing their health insurance and boosted Rhode Island’s funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) from $13.2 million to $69.5 million – the highest percentage increase of any state.  This increase bolstered Reed’s longstanding efforts to ensure more federal dollars to support our state’s health care system.

Senator Reed has strenuously opposed any attempts to dismantle the ACA and undo protections for people with preexisting conditions.  These repeated efforts do nothing to provide Rhode Islanders with expanded health care choices or lowered costs, and Reed has consistently defended the coverage and protections the ACA affords millions of Americans.


  • Senator Reed authored the bipartisan landmark Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act to advance pediatric cancer research and child-focused cancer treatments, improve childhood cancer surveillance, and provide resources for survivors and those impacted by childhood cancer.
  • Reed authored the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, the first federal law to provide funding for youth suicide prevention programs, including on college campuses.  He also helped lead the charge to promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, successfully passing a bipartisan law to shorten the number from ten digits to three – 9-8-8 – to make it easier for those at risk of suicide to call for help, and leading efforts to increase funding for the Lifeline to shorten wait times. 
  • To improve the tracking and prevention of opioid-related overdoses and help people and communities who are suffering from the opioid crisis, Senator Reed helped the state land a $17.1 million federal grant to combat Rhode Island’s opioid epidemic and support prevention, treatment, and recovery programs.
  • Reed annually leads efforts to boost federal funding for vital immunization and disease prevention programs for children and adults.  He is also nationally recognized for his targeted efforts to prevent lead poisoning, which include leading the annual letter urging increased funding for prevention programs, and he has delivered millions to support Rhode Island’s prevention and abatement efforts.

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