Since first taking office, promoting quality health care for every American has been one of Sherrod’s top priorities. As a member of the House of Representatives, he served as the top Democrat on the House Health Subcommittee, where he worked collaboratively with the Chairman of the subcommittee to craft bipartisan legislation accelerating research on children’s health conditions and bolstering the nation’s ability for fight bioterrorism.
Sherrod also introduced the first piece of legislation to address Medicare payment cuts that threatened seniors’ access to the doctors they trust, the first bill to bolster the Medicaid program, which is the sole source nursing home care for tens of millions of low income seniors, and the first bill to combat dangerous shortages in pediatricians and pediatric specialists. In addition, Sherrod worked successfully across party lines to increase access to generic medicines, which have helped reduce the cost of health care for consumers and taxpayer-funded health programs alike.
In the Senate, Sherrod played a key role in developing and achieving passage of landmark health reform legislation that cracks down on abusive practices by the health insurance industry and dramatically expands access to affordable health coverage. Sherrod has consistently advocated for health insurance reform that makes coverage available to all Americans, and he steadfastly refused to accept congressional health coverage until meaningful health insurance reform was signed into law.
Sherrod is proud of provisions in the new health reform law that prevent insurers from discriminating against Americans with diabetes and other pre-existing conditions, end arbitrary caps on annual and lifetime coverage, and enable parents to continue to cover their children through age 26, providing young people needed health protection as they look for work that offers employer-sponsored coverage. He also fought for provisions that provide small businesses health insurance tax credits for offering coverage to their employees, crack down on huge health insurane mark-ups, reduce the cost of employer-sponsored retiree health coverage, cut the cost of prescription drugs for seniors who fall into the “donut hole” or coverage gap in their Medicare prescription drug coverage, and offer free physicals and other free preventive services to Medicare beneficiaries.
Fighting for lower prescription drugs costs, health care affordability, lifesaving medical research, and other key health care priorities will continue to be front and center in Sherrod’s Senate agenda.