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.
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WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, released the following statement on the passage of gun violence prevention legislation: