Fixing our broken health care system has been my top priority for most of my life. My goal is to ensure that every person has access to affordable, quality and accessible health care. It is a national shame that our nation spends more than any other country in the world but fails to guarantee access to health care. 50 million Americans are completely uninsured, millions more are poorly insured. High medical costs are a factor in a majority of personal bankruptcies, and businesses, small and large, are struggling to pay for health care for their workers.
Lack of access to health care has resulted in the United States trailing the world in health outcomes. In 2017, the United States ranked 170th in the infant mortality rate, 138th in the maternal mortality rate, and 43rd in life expectancy. International comparisons by organizations such as the World Health Organization, OECD, and the Commonwealth Fund consistently show the U.S. rates poorly in meeting quality health measures despite spending far more than any other than country.
As a previous member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health, I am committed to building a health care system that works for everyone. We have made major strides in recent years, and I am especially proud of the passage of the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. It continues to benefit millions of Americans, and it lays a strong foundation to make even more improvements.
We have more to do to achieve breakthroughs in medical research and to eliminate disparities in access to care. We must expand the health care workforce. We must ensure that everyone has affordable access to the health care they need, including prescription drugs, mental health services and the full range of reproductive health services.
I believe we can create the best health care system in the world and that Obamacare was an excellent start.
More on Health
I participated in the Health Subcommittee hearing on the impacts of the #AffordableCareAct on our nation's health. We discussed how we can build on it and improve even more, 11 years since its implementation.
During the full committee debate on the LIFT America Act, I focused on the public health infrastructure aspects of the bill, including community health centers.
Today we passed H.R. 1868 to protect Medicare and Medicaid from across-the-board budget cuts, making sure Medicare and Medicaid recipients aren't affected from by any reduction in services or funding.
I have been urging my colleagues to join me in asking President Biden to agree to a TRIPS Waiver in the World Trade Organization. Big Pharma is seeing COVID-19 and the vaccines as a money maker, even after the American taxpayers funded their research and development of these vaccines. We need to make sure many poorer and less developed nations have access to the vaccines our companies have created and giving them the ability to produce their own doses.