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H.R. 6 – 21st Century Cures ACT: YES. This bill expedites FDA approvals for new medical drugs and devices and authorizes spending on major research into cancer and Alzheimer’s. I voted against the original bill because it established multiple new mandatory spending programs outside of Congress’ annual appropriations review and depended primarily on budget gimmicks to pay for them. This version replaces the mandatory spending aspects of the bill with discretionary spending that Congress must review and approve ever year, and greatly reduces the pay-for gimmicks.
A recent letter writer asks my position on Zika funding and why Congress has not acted.
With my support, the House voted in June to appropriate $1.1 billion to combat Zika – the result of a bi-partisan conference agreement. There was no debate on the measure, because it was taken up on the day House Democrats staged their sit-in, physically blocking access to the microphones and shouting down any who tried to speak from the well. Nevertheless, the bill passed on a vote of 239-171, with most Democrats opposing.
I am hearing from many constituents who have received notices that their healthcare premiums are skyrocketing, or their plans are being dropped either by their employers or their insurers, or that they are having hours cut back, salaries reduced or positions eliminated at work as employers try to cope with these increased costs.
I need to know how this law is affecting you. I invite you to share your experience with me so that I can get a clearer picture of how this program is unfolding and so that I can share your experiences with my colleagues.