Congressman Connolly believes health care should be a right for all Americans. He is committed to expanding access and improving the quality of care for all his constituents. In order to advance this critical priority, Congressman Connolly will fight to defend the Federal Employee Health Benefits program (FEHBP), protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and guard against misguided efforts to weaken, privatize, or overhaul our nation's most successful health care programs in history, Medicare and Medicaid.
He strongly opposes partisan efforts to repeal the ACA. As a result of this landmark legislation, Virginia's uninsured rate has decreased by 31 percent since 2010, providing 327,000 Virginians access to health care coverage they would otherwise have been unable to obtain or afford. In addition to expanding coverage, the ACA protects nearly 3 million Virginians who, prior to the ACA's elimination of punitive annual and lifetime limits, lived under the threat of having their inadequate health insurance cut off if they got too sick. Insurance companies can no longer indiscriminately deny an individual coverage due to a pre-existing condition, and thanks to reforms that allow children to stay on their parent's health plan until the age of 26, nearly 59,000 young adults have health care coverage. The ACA also mandates coverage of many important services including mental health screenings, and free preventive care coverage, such as flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms.
Unfortunately, Republican efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care, including the elimination of the individual mandate, cutting the Open Enrollment period in half, discontinuing much of the advertisement and outreach activities to boost ACA enrollment, and rescinding cost sharing reductions payments have resulted in higher premiums and fewer choices for Virginians.
Congressman Connolly believes there are improvements to the Affordable Care Act that can and should be adopted, but sabotaging and repealing the law is not the answer. He supports extending the risk-mitigation program that promotes market certainty and ensures insurance companies continue to participate in the marketplaces and finding new ways to encourage younger Americans to join the marketplaces.
Congressman Connolly been a strong supporter of Medicaid expansion in Virginia, which will provide health coverage for more than 400,000 Virginians, and was pleased to see the Governor sign it into law. He also fought for the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers more than 200,000 children in the Commonwealth.
Since coming to Congress, he has championed greater investment in scientific and biomedical research that will lead to new breakthroughs in medicine and treatments. Each year, he has advocated for robust funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and helped pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which would help unleash research and development.
Congressman Connolly is also fighting to make prescription drugs more affordable, including closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and holding companies accountable for indefensible skyrocketing drug costs. As a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Congressman Connolly is supporting investigations into egregious price-gouging by pharmaceutical companies and supports reforms that will help lower prescription drug prices through greater competition and common-sense consumer protection safeguards.
Finally, he steadfastly opposes partisan efforts to insert the government between women and their doctors, and he has stood up to those in Congress who have attacked organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which provide vital health services to millions of Americans of all genders, races, and ages.