Congressman Lynch continues to believe that every American should have access to quality healthcare, regardless of their employment status or income level. For this reason, Congressman Lynch remains supportive of initiatives and programs designed to increase patient access, provide affordable premiums and drug prices for patients, establish appropriate reimbursement rates for doctors, sustain our nations Community Health Centers, continue the mission of our Teaching Hospitals, and invest in Health IT and preventative care.
Health Care Reform
Congressman Lynch voted against The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act when it passed the House of Representatives on March 25, 2010, because he did not believe it would achieve real reform. In a private meeting with President Obama at the White House prior to the vote, Congressman Lynch told the president that he could not support the bill, but if it passed would not vote to repeal it, and work to improve it. Thus far in the 114th Congress there have been numerous bills and amendments offered to repeal the law or parts of it. Congressman Lynch has maintained his commitment not to repeal, but to improve the bill, and work towards bringing about real health care reform.
Congressman Lynch voted to repeal a provision in the Affordable Care Act that would unduly burden small businesses with unnecessary, complicated paperwork. The repeal of this IRS Form 1099 filing requirement had bipartisan support, both parties agreeing that this provision should be removed, improving the overall bill. In contrast, Congressman Lynch opposed a bill, the Repeal Mandatory Funding for Graduate Education Act, which eliminated funds appropriated in the Affordable Care Act for several grant programs designed to increase the size of the health care workforce and specifically increase the number of general practice and primary care physicians. According to current estimates, there will be a shortage of nearly 40,000 primary care physicians in the next 10 years. In order to improve access and quality of care to all Americans, including the 32 million targeted by the health care reform bill, a sufficient number of well trained and physicians is imperative.
Medicare and Medicaid
Two programs critical to affordable and accessible health care are Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately these programs have come under attack in the 112th Congress. Congressman Lynch voted against the Republican budget when it came to the floor of the House of Representatives in the spring of 2011. This budget would end Medicare as we know it and slashed Medicaid programs that cover millions of seniors in nursing homes and provide basic coverage for tens of millions of children.
During the summer of 2011, as Washington worked to reach a deal to avoid default, Congressman Lynch urged the negotiators and President Obama to protect Medicare and Medicaid in the debt negotiations. While Congressman Lynch believes that the country needs to regain its financial footing he does not believe that it should be done on the backs of senior citizens and the most vulnerable among us.
There are 146,000 individuals in the 8th Congressional District who receive health care coverage under Medicaid and over 20,800 seniors and individuals with disabilities who are “dual eligible” for both Medicare and Medicaid. There are 1,231,000 seniors and individuals with disabilities in the metro Boston area that are currently enrolled in Medicare. These programs are vital to our most vulnerable populations. Congressman Lynch believes that these programs must be improved and strengthened, not dismantled, and will continue to work with his colleagues in Congress to achieve this goal.