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Congressman Lloyd Doggett

Representing the 35th District of Texas

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Healthcare

I am committed to preserving hard-fought for reforms to our health system.

Affordable Medications 

As the Chair and Founder of the House Affordable Prescription Drug Task Force, I am committed to bringing more oversight and transparency to drug pricing and supporting legislative and administrative solutions so that more families can afford the medicine they need.

High drug prices are not a problem with one pharmaceutical manufacturer, one class of drugs, or one disease—this problem is widespread. While we have made advances in research and treatment, an unaffordable drug is 100 percent ineffective. I have urged President Trump to use the authority he already has to encourage competition that would lower drug prices. Drugs developed with public funding should be available -- and affordable -- to the public. I am also sponsoring multiple pieces of legislation that would allow Medicare to use its purchasing power to lower drug costs for seniors and taxpayers through negotiation, fight anti-competitive pay-for-delay deals, and promote transparency throughout the drug development and pricing process.

Protecting Health Insurance Reform

I remain committed to preserving the hard-fought reforms that provided health insurance to millions through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), resisting those who seek to repeal, defund, or sabotage the ACA. Even President Trump has called the defeated Republican healthcare repeal bill “mean, mean, mean.” I voted against it because it removes protections for people with pre-existing conditions; brings back lifetime and annual caps on care; allows states to remove essential health benefits -- like maternity care and mental health services; and take almost a trillion dollars out of Medicaid.  Most every health care professional group came out to condemn this travesty – I stood with the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, and families around our Nation in opposition to this cruel bill, and will continue to oppose any future efforts to repeal or dismantle the ACA.

Defending Reproductive Rights

I trust women to make their own healthcare decisions, which is why I oppose efforts to block access to comprehensive reproductive care and fully support measures that help protect women’s health. I am a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and, consistent with my 100% pro-choice voting record (as evaluated by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America), I strongly support reproductive rights and oppose efforts to defund comprehensive healthcare clinics.

There is a steady drumbeat to overturn Roe v. Wade and take away a woman’s right to choose—even in the tragic cases of rape, incest, or dangerous health risks. Women in Texas face some of the most extreme barriers in accessing reproductive healthcare in the country. These excessive restrictions are not supported by medical experts—but they do shutter safe, comprehensive clinics and jeopardize women’s health. Instead of focusing on measures that would take important, complex medical decisions away from women, I sponsored the Women's Health Protection Act, which would make unlawful many of the types of politically motivated restrictions that take away a woman's ability to choose quality reproductive care. I also sponsored the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act, which protects access to reproductive care for public health insurance beneficiaries, federal employees, and in federal health services.

I have consistently rejected Republicans’ anti-choice amendments and riders on appropriation bills, have strongly opposed Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in their health care repeal bills, and will continue to support efforts to improve access to reproductive services. I will continue working hard to protect a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.

Healthcare for Seniors

For several decades, Social Security and Medicare have been a lifesaving safety net for our seniors, protecting their physical and financial well-being, and providing well-earned peace of mind after a lifetime of work.

Just over fifty years after President Johnson first signed Medicare into law, the program continues to provide necessary health services for so many across our country. As a recent recipient of two national legislative awards from AARP, which recognized my initiaitves on healthcare and efforts to ensure seniors' access to healthcare, I continue working to defend, strengthen and improve Medicare, a pillar of retirement security. The Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act takes billions of dollars out of the Medicare trust funds by giving a major tax windfall to the wealthiest few and to pharmaceutical companies. I have spoken out repeatedly against these giveaways, which come at the expense of our seniors’ care.

Protecting seniors also means protecting them from fraud.  My Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act, which requires the removal of Social Security numbers from Medicare cards, was enacted into law. With identity thieves becoming increasingly sophisticated, a little prevention can prevent a lot of heartache. Seniors who have worked a lifetime building their financial security deserve better protection.

My AARP-endorsed bipartisan NOTICE Act was signed into law. NOTICE does just what its name suggests: it gives patients notice when they are about to be billed personally after being categorized as "under observation" in the hospital. Currently, a hospital may either admit a patient as an "inpatient" or keep the patient "under observation." While the distinction is often impossible to determine, particularly by the beneficiary, the cost can be extreme if expensive skilled nursing home care is required.

Social Security

Social Security isn’t a Ponzi scheme or a handout. It is one of our most successful initiatives, providing security for tens of millions of seniors. In eight decades, Social Security has never been a day late or a dollar short. It has never contributed a dime to the deficit and has generated a $2.6 trillion surplus. With modest improvements to ensure its long-term solvency, Social Security will be there for our grandchildren.

More on Healthcare

May 22, 2019 In The News
A big move was made Wednesday to increase the transparency of medical device dangers.
May 21, 2019 In The News
The vote was unanimous. Texas House lawmakers voted 146 - 0 to ban surprise medical bills in Texas.
May 21, 2019 In The News
A surprise medical bill may be a thing of the past for many Texans. In a unanimous vote, the Texas House approved a Senate bill banning health care providers from sending steep medical bills to insured Texans in emergencies.
May 20, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, at 3 PM EST, Chairman Doggett will hold a hearing on combatting surprise medical bills, which burden patients with unexpected medical costs. For three Congresses, Chairman Doggett has sought action to end surprise medical bills and has authored legislation to protect patients from this practice. Witnesses will share approaches to federal legislation to ensure that patients are not caught in the middle of conflict between insurance companies and health care providers. Fifty-seven percent of American adults have received a surprise bill for expenses that they thought would have been covered by insurance.
May 9, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Doggett (D-TX), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, responded to President Trump’s expected call to action regarding surprise medical bills today. Fifty-seven percent of American adults have received a surprise bill for expenses that they thought would have been covered by insurance. Rep. Doggett has authored the only legislation in the House to end this unjustified practice. His statement:
April 29, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) announced its endorsement of H.R. 1046, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act of 2019, introduced by Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35).
April 18, 2019 In The News
As drug prices have soared, lawmakers and patient advocates have pushed the federal government to deploy for the first time a powerful deterrent: a legal provision that allows it to suspend a drugmaker’s patent and license someone else to produce the drug.
March 27, 2019 In The News
The Trump administration has held early-stage conversations with Speaker Nancy Pelosi's staff about drug-pricing legislation that could provide each side with a domestic policy victory, according to White House and congressional sources.
March 27, 2019 In The News
Democrats are seeking to move beyond special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report to a different action taken this week by the Justice Department: its statement supporting Texas’ legal challenge to the 2010 health care law, which said the entire act should fall.
March 26, 2019 Press Release
Washington, DC — Today, Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) questioned the Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan in a Budget Committee hearing, after Secretary Azar declined to testify. Rep. Doggett asked Deputy Secretary Hargan why the Trump Administration’s budget declines to invest in lowering the price of prescription drugs or empowering Medicare to negotiate, as President Trump called for when he was Candidate Trump. Specifically, Rep. Doggett asked about the overdose prevention drug naloxone and was told by the Trump Administration witness that there was no affordability problem. You can watch the exchange here, or read the excerpts below. After the hearing Rep. Doggett stated: “It is difficult to agree on how to solve the problem of high prescription drug prices when Trump’s HHS does not even acknowledge the crisis exists.”