Congressman Marsha Blackburn – we continue to fight against Obamacare

Congressman Marsha Blackburn – we continue to fight against Obamacare

This Week in Washington

U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn

This Week in Washington

Fellow Americans –

You are all aware that we continue to fight against Obamacare and try to address the problems it has caused in our healthcare marketplace. Yesterday a federal judge told us what we’ve known for years, that Obamacare is unconstitutional. In its ruling on House v. Burwell, the lawsuit the House filed regarding the Administration’s unilateral actions on Obamacare, the court ruled that those same Administration unilateral actions on health care were an improper use of taxpayer dollars. The fight is not over yet, but this is a step in the right direction. We’ve heard time and time again that insurance has become too expensive to afford and that premiums have skyrocketed. The American people deserve better.

Opioid addiction has proven to destroy hope, opportunity and families. Certainly we see this across the country, but we are also seeing the devastating effects of addiction in Tennessee. Tennessee has the second highest rating nationally for opioid addiction. Addiction does not care about race, gender, income or politics. It is an issue that affects all of us and the people we love and serve. Together we are working to pass solutions that will combat the opioid epidemic and help remedy those who are suffering most. Just this week, the House passed 18 bills to combat this epidemic. And earlier this year, we achieved a success that is one way the federal government can help in the good work of our state legislators in fighting the opioid abuse epidemic. This provision I authored with Congressman Tom Marino was signed into law and ensures access to proper medication for patients with legitimate needs while allowing us to continue battling the drug diversion and abuse problem in the United States. The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 combats the inappropriate use of prescription drugs by bringing greater clarity and transparency to the requirements needed for safe and secure distribution of medications. The people battling addiction are moms and dads; they are our neighbors and our children. I commend my colleagues and our committee, Energy and Commerce, for unanimously passing these multiple provisions in order to combat this national crisis. I also commend our state legislators, State Senator Joey Hensley and State Representative Barry Doss, for the attention that have drawn to this issue.

The Select Investigative Panel, which I chair, has turned its attention to the allegations of practices by late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart and a Germantown, Maryland, abortion clinic. Public reports indicate at least five women have been sent to the hospital since December while seeking an abortion in this clinic. The clinic is one of the few in the nation that performs abortions during the third trimester. The Select Panel has issued subpoenas seeking further information about these troubling reports to nine entities. We have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable at all stages of life. This obligation was expressed in both the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Reports regarding the Germantown clinic are deeply troubling, both for the sake of babies whose lives are ended so close to—and possibly even after—birth and for the sake of the women who have been rushed from that clinic to the hospital with increasing frequency. In order to properly address these concerns, we have issued subpoenas not only to Dr. Carhart and his clinic, but also to hospitals and first responders who may have information that will be instructive. Time is of the essence. Click here to read the subpoenas.

The Energy and Commerce Committee, where I serve as Vice Chair, Ways and Means, and House Leadership have been working together in order to develop legislation to modernize American health care with patient-centered solutions that improve access, choice, and quality, lower costs, promote innovation, and strengthen the safety net for the most vulnerable. Currently, our Healthcare Task Force, is working on a plan that will reinstate Health Savings Accounts – something I have worked on for many years, create a free-market health exchange that drives competition, provide flexible spending accounts and revise many of the burdensome tax provisions passed on to consumers and businesses. Our collective goal is to have this policy in hand no later than July 2016. Our plan will ensure that citizens are provided with quality care, individual choice, and access to their physician. This week I was honored to receive two awards for my work on healthcare legislation, the 2016 PIAA Award of Excellence in Public Policy and the Champion of Healthcare Innovation Award from the Healthcare Leadership Conference.

This Sunday I hope you’ll join me as I “Face The Nation” on CBS around 9:45am CT. Tune in here. Have a great weekend,

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