The Affordable Care Act
To combat unsustainable and increasing medical costs for American families, businesses, and our government, Congress and the Administration reformed our nation’s health insurance system to make high-quality care more accessible and affordable.
The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, is helping New York by:
- Providing new benefits and lowering costs for three million New York Medicare beneficiaries, including closing the prescription drug “donut hole;”
- Protecting against unreasonable insurance rate increases, lifetime limits on coverage, and denials of care to children because of pre-existing conditions;
- Reducing health care costs for families and businesses through affordable insurance exchanges;
- Enabling nearly 160,000 New York young adults to stay on their parents’ health plan until their 26thbirthday; and
- Preventing illness and promoting health through free preventive care and investments in community health centers.
For more information about how the Affordable Care Act is benefiting New York, please click here.
Congresswoman Lowey is a leader in Congress on protecting women’s health services and access to family planning. Congresswoman Lowey:
- Authored the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act, enacted in 2008, to increase research on the links between breast cancer and the environment;
- Passed coverage of contraceptives for federal employees in 1998 and supports President Obama’s decision to require contraceptive coverage while exempting churches and places of worship from requirements to which they are morally opposed;
- Successfully fought to ensure clinical trials at National Institutes of Health include females in order to understand gender differences in benefits and risks of medications and treatments; and
- Strongly supports WISEWOMAN services that screen women for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among women.
Funding for Biomedical Research
Detecting, curing, and preventing diseases requires sustained and aggressive investment in biomedical research, and Congresswoman Lowey worked successfully to nearly triple the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is working to continue investing aggressively in research and grants for hospitals and research institutions that conduct groundbreaking medical research to improve treatments, decrease health costs, and grow our economy.
Lowey successfully included in the FY 2016 omnibus spending bill a $2 billion increase for NIH and a $96.7 million increase for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that facilitates the development and purchase of vaccines and therapies to combat public health emergencies.
Reimbursing NY Providers Fairly
Congresswoman Lowey voted for a bipartisan measure, signed into law by President Obama, that repeals the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, ensuring that physicians are reimbursed fairly for treating Medicare patients and that patients will continue to have access to their doctors.
Following the Ebola outbreak, Lowey passed a provision to ensure hospitals are eligible to receive partial reimbursement for the costs of renovations and alterations in preparation for Ebola patients.
Health Care and Benefits for 9/11 Survivors
There are more than 30,000 responders and survivors who have an illness or injury caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After a lapse in authorization, Lowey was an original co-sponsor on and fought hard include the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act in the FY 2016 omnibus spending bill, reviving two programs: The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
Because good health is critical to children’s ability to grow and develop, Congresswoman Lowey has worked to:
- Combat childhood obesity through access to proper nutrition and physical education; and
- Protect children from food allergies through clear labeling and helping schools prevent and respond to reactions.
Improving Long-Term Care and Access to Care for the Disabled
To help families provide necessary care for individuals with disabilities or those in need of long-term care, Congresswoman Lowey supports:
- Tax deductions for long-term care premiums and Social Security credits for those acting as a family caregiver; and
- Increased access to medical diagnostic equipment, wellness grants, and physician and dental training on working with patients with disabilities.