Democratic Senator (NY); Democratic Candidate for President (withdrawn)
Money going to corporate profits, not health care
Health care in America should be a right. The truth about health care in America today is people can't afford it. The insurance companies, I'm sorry, they're for-profit companies. They have an obligation to their shareholders. They pay their
CEO millions of dollars. They have to have quarterly profits. They have fat in the system that's real and it should be going to health care. And let's not forget what the Republicans are doing, their whole goal is to take away your health care.
Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit)
, Jul 31, 2019
Keep private insurance in transition; goal is single payer
We need to get to universal health care as a right and not a privilege. The quickest way is you create competition with the insurers. If they want to compete, they can certainly try, but they've never put people over their profits, and I doubt they
ever will. People will choose Medicare, then your step to single-payer is short. I would make it an earned benefit, just like Social Security, so that you buy in your whole life, it is always there for you, and it's permanent and it's universal.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)
, Jun 27, 2019
Transition to Medicare for all through public option
Healthcare is a right and not a privilege. That's why I am for Medicare for all and I believe that the best way to get there is let people buy in and that is how we get the single payer over a very short transition period.
I don't think you can actually get to universal coverage unless you have a not for profit public option that is focused solely on human health.
The reason why we have a transition plan is because you're going to let Americans choose. If you let America choose basic care through
Medicare which is higher quality and far more affordable, I can't imagine that most Americans won't choose it.
Provide a public option to get to universal coverage
The biggest worry almost every family in America has is the cost of health care because the insurance industry doesn't care. So the reason why I believe in Medicare for All is I think any family should have access to at least one not for profit public
option so they can compete with the for profit insurance industry that just has to make their quarterly profits and pay their shareholders value and make sure their CEO is make millions of dollars. If you buy into Medicare in the same way you buy into
your Social Security as an earned benefit it is far less expensive for every American than the amount of money they are paying now to the insurance industry. Let them buy in, let them just invest four percent of income, which is what our bill says, to
get access in the same way they invest six percent of their income into Social Security. If create it as a social safety net, people will get higher quality care that is less expensive, and they will always be covered.
Basic Health Program: offer lower-priced health insurance
Health care: Move to a universal, government-run health care system within four years.
Gillibrand was a co-sponsor of the "The Medicare for All Act," a proposal led by
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., which would ban private health insurance and transition the U.S. to a government-run health system within four years.
The bill offers a few funding options, including a new tax on the wealthiest 0.1 percent, and a new premium based on income.
Gillibrand has also proposed expanding the "Basic Health Program," part of the Affordable Care Act, so that states can offer lower-priced health insurance to more people.
Expand Medicare and add not-for-profit public option
They disagreed on Medicare-for-all and the new tax bill, with Gillibrand saying she supports improving the health care system, including expanding Medicare.
"I believe people should have access to the life-saving health care that they need," she
said. "So I believe in Medicare for all, because if you have a not-for-profit public option, if you had a system where you could have access to the healthcare that you need, you would have the ability to have preventive care and people with
pre-existing conditions would be able to get the coverage they want."
Farley argued that health care costs are spiraling out of control and that Gillibrand's proposals amount to socialized medicine. "What she is proposing means that no one will be
allowed to have employer health care," Farley said. "If you like your health care, will you be able to keep it? The answer is no."
There was some common ground.
Both oppose the idea of a federal ban on the sale of large sugary drinks similar to the one enacted by Mayor Bloomberg in the city.
Source: New York Daily News on 2012 N. Y. Senate debate
, Oct 17, 2012
Investigate insurers until full program initiates in 2014
Gillibrand said the health care bill she helped pass last year is a strong one. But she said she's concerned about insurance companies raising premiums before the changes kick in. "It doesn't really start until 2014, and I will tell you many insurers
have raised their rates," Gillibrand said. "I want a full investigation."
DioGuardi said the health care law should be repealed and restructured to rein in spending. "Health care reform did not reduce the cost of health care." he said.
Source: WNYC News coverage of 2010 N. Y. Senate debate
, Oct 15, 2010
Medicare for all; allow drug reimportation
Allow anyone to buy into Medicare
Increase funding and access to rural health care
Insure every child in America Prescription Drugs
Allow the government to negotiate directly with the drug companies for Medicare
Better and immediate funding for Medicare & Medicaid.
Gillibrand adopted the Blue Dog Coalition letter to Congressional leadership:
We are writing on behalf of the House Blue Dog Caucus to request that bipartisan legislation be crafted for passage before the end of this Congress that adequately addresses the funding of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP programs. As you know, over 39 million seniors and the disabled rely on the Medicare program for their health care. A further 43 million Americans rely on the Medicaid and SCHIP programs. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 has produced cuts in spending far beyond what Congress and the Congressional Budget Office anticipated when the legislation was enacted. These greater-than- expected cuts threaten to jeopardize the health care of seniors and the disabled all across the country. While the Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 1999 did provide some relief, it is clear that we need to do more. As we approach the end of the 106 Congress, it is impossible to th overstate the need for us to work on a bipartisan basis to write meaningful legislation that can be
signed by the President.
We strongly believe there is a need to separate the provisions of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protections Act from H.R. 2614 and that bipartisan negotiations should be undertaken to improve this package so that it better provides for the critical needs of vulnerable patients. We respectfully submit that by working in a bipartisan basis, the 106 Congress can take th significant actions to help alleviate the current problems being faced by health care providers and patients that must be addressed. Waiting until next year to address this problem may be too late.
Source: Blue Dog Coalition press release 00-BDC1 on Dec 5, 2000
Prescription drug benefit within Medicare.
Gillibrand adopted the Blue Dog Coalition press release:
We strongly believe that Congress should enact a Medicare prescription drug benefit that is available, affordable, dependable and voluntary for all seniors. The Blue Dog Coalition supports proposals to provide prescription drug coverage through a defined Medicare benefit that is available to all Medicare beneficiaries. Given the shortcomings of existing private plans, we believe that relying on private sector insurance plans will leave many beneficiaries without adequate coverage.
An effective prescription drug benefit must:
provide a benefit which is available to all seniors, including those in rural areas;
provide equal treatment for all seniors, without disparities in coverage between rural, urban and suburban regions;
use market power of seniors to reduce costs through competition;
help low and middle-income seniors afford prescription medicine costs;
allow participation by local pharmacists, not just mail order pharmacies; and
be consistent with Medicare modernization.
Providing prescription drug coverage as a Medicare defined benefit ensures that all seniors, regardless of where they live, will have access to the same benefit plan. The Coalition opposes H.R. 4680, unless it is modified to provide all seniors with the option of prescription drug coverage.
Relying on private sector plans to deliver prescription drug coverage will not achieve the goals outlined above. It will not be cost effective for private plans to offer coverage in rural areas, which will result in expensive government subsidies to attract plans to rural areas. Rural seniors should not be forced to pay higher premiums or have less generous benefits, simply because they live in areas that are not financially attractive to private insurance companies.”
Source: Blue Dog Coalition press release 00-BDC2 on Jun 28, 2000
Improve services for people with autism & their families.
Gillibrand co-sponsored improving services for people with autism & their families
Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to:
convene, on behalf of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, a Treatments, Interventions, and Services Evaluation Task Force to evaluate evidence-based biomedical and behavioral treatments and services for individuals with autism;
establish a multi-year demonstration grant program for states to provide evidence-based autism treatments, interventions, and services.
establish planning and demonstration grant programs for adults with autism;
award grants to states for access to autism services following diagnosis;
award grants to
University Centers of Excellence for Developmental Disabilities to provide services and address the unmet needs of individuals with autism and their families;
make grants to protection and advocacy systems to address the needs of individuals with autism and other emerging populations of individuals with disabilities; and
award a grant to a national nonprofit organization for the establishment and maintenance of a national technical assistance center for autism services and information dissemination.
Directs the Comptroller General to issue a report on the financing of autism services and treatments.
Source: Promise for Individuals With Autism Act (S.937 & HR.1881) 07-HR1881 on Apr 17, 2007
Establish a national childhood cancer database.
Gillibrand co-sponsored establishing a national childhood cancer database
Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2007 - A bill to advance medical research and treatments into pediatric cancers, ensure patients and families have access to the current treatments and information regarding pediatric cancers, establish a population-based national childhood cancer database, and promote public awareness of pediatric cancers.
Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to childhood cancer professional and direct service organizations for the expansion and widespread implementation of:
activities that provide information on treatment protocols to ensure early access to the best available therapies and clinical trials for pediatric cancers;
activities that provide available information on the late effects of pediatric cancer treatment to ensure access to necessary long-term medical and psychological care; and
direct resource services such as educational outreach for parents, information on school reentry and postsecondary education, and resource directories or referral services for financial assistance, psychological counseling, and other support services.
Legislative Outcome: House version H.R.1553; became Public Law 110-285 on 7/29/2008.
Source: Conquer Childhood Cancer Act (S911/HR1553) 07-S911 on Mar 19, 2007
Merge Alzheimers diagnosis and care benefit.
Gillibrand co-sponsored HOPE for Alzheimer's Act
Congressional Summary:The purpose of this Act is to increase diagnosis of Alzheimer`s disease and related dementias, leading to better care and outcomes for Americans living with Alzheimer`s disease and related dementias. Congress makes the following findings:
As many as half of the estimated 5.2 million Americans with Alzheimer`s disease have never received a diagnosis.
An early and documented diagnosis and access to care planning services leads to better outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer`s disease.
Combining the existing Medicare benefits of a diagnostic evaluation and care planning into a single package of services would help ensure that individuals receive an appropriate diagnosis as well as critical information about the disease and available care options.
Proponent`s argument for bill: (The Alzheimer`s Association, alz.org).
The `Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer`s Act` (S.709/H.R. 1507) is one of the Alzheimer`s Association`s top federal priorities for the 113th Congress. The HOPE for Alzheimer`s Act would improve diagnosis of Alzheimer`s diseas
Gillibrand signed keeping ObamaCare's prevention, treatment, & recovery services
Excerpts from Letter from 20 Senators to President Trump: Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with no clear plan for replacement will substantially worsen the opioid epidemic. Last year, Congress took important steps to address this national public health crisis, enacting two bipartisan laws to address the opioid epidemic and reform the way our health system treats mental health and substance use disorders.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act improved access to substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery services. It promoted the use of best practices when prescribing opioid pain-killers, strengthening state prescription drug monitoring programs, and expanding access to the life-saving drug naloxone.
The 21st Century Cures Act also included critical mental health and substance use disorder reforms, strengthening enforcement of mental health parity laws, promoting the integration of physical and mental health care. Most importantly,
the 21st Century Cures Act dedicated $1 billion in new grant funding, which will be essential to helping states provide prevention, treatment, and recovery services to patients These bipartisan advances will be fundamentally undermined by repeal of the ACA.
Opposing argument: (Warren, D-MA, in StatNews.com, 11/28/2016): Senator Elizabeth Warren railed against the 21st Century Cures, saying the bill had been `hijacked` by the pharmaceutical industry. `I cannot vote for this bill,`` Warren said. `I will fight it because I know the difference between compromise and extortion.` The current legislation includes $500 million for the FDA, well below the amount Democrats had sought. Warren and Washington Senator Patty Murray have long argued that they would only support Cures legislation that included significant investment in basic medical research. While Warren said she supported many of the provisions, she called others `huge giveaways` to the drug industry.
Source: Letter Regarding Fighting the Opioid Crisis 17LTR-ACA on Feb 3, 2017
Sponsored bill providing for autism treatment under TRICARE.
Gillibrand sponsored bill providing for autism treatment under TRICARE
A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for the treatment of autism under TRICARE. Revises TRICARE (a Department of Defense [DOD] managed health care program) to authorize treatment of autism spectrum disorders, if a health care professional determines that such treatment is medically necessary.