Senator Van Hollen is working every day to ensure that families across Maryland have access to quality, affordable health care. While serving in the House of Representatives, he played a key role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which helped millions of people in Maryland and across the country get access to care, brought key protections to Americans with pre-existing conditions, and ended the worst practices of insurance companies. Since that historic legislative victory, Senator Van Hollen has worked to fend off efforts to dismantle the ACA, craft legislation to make it even easier to enroll in current health care programs, and build on the strong health care foundation he helped create. Senator Van Hollen is committed to lowering the cost of prescription drugs and improving the quality, affordability, and accessibility of care across the board. He has been a consistent supporter of creating a Medicare for All public option within the ACA exchanges as a way of moving toward a Medicare for All system.
The coronavirus pandemic struck our state and our nation with the worst public health crisis in a generation. It has affected virtually every Marylander and every American. During this time of crisis, Marylanders have stepped up to serve our fellow citizens, working on the front lines to deliver crucial support to communities in need. Senator Van Hollen is grateful for their courage and thankful for their service.
Throughout this crisis, the Senator has partnered with colleagues to support our frontline workers through increased access to personal protective equipment, additional resources for health care providers, and additional funding for home- and community-based services. He played key roles in assembling a series of coronavirus relief bills – including the American Rescue Plan – that expanded testing, delivered life-saving vaccines to our communities, and supercharged additional research into fighting the coronavirus and its variants. Throughout this pandemic, Senator Van Hollen has placed a clear emphasis on the need to advance health equity and has pushed to ensure that communities of color, which have been disproportionately harmed by this public health emergency, aren’t left behind in our government’s response to the pandemic.
In addition, the American Rescue Plan made important down-payments on key health care priorities. That legislation reduced health care costs, expanded access to insurance coverage, and helped address disparities in access to care. Crucially, the American Rescue Plan expanded health care tax credits to ensure that no marketplace enrollee spends more than 8.5% of their income on premiums, regardless of income. Now, Senator Van Hollen is working to make those changes permanent while further strengthening the Affordable Care Act, lowering the cost of prescription drugs like insulin, and expanding Medicare services. He is working on multiple fronts to lower the cost of prescription medication and has introduced first-of-its-kind legislation to address skyrocketing drug prices by ensuring that the prices of drugs developed using federally-funded research are set at reasonable levels. In addition, Senator Van Hollen is leading the charge to prevent medical providers from going after patients’ incomes in order to recoup debt.
In addition, Senator Van Hollen has championed efforts to find new treatments and cures for diseases that impact virtually every American family. The United States is a world leader in innovative medical research, and much of that good work takes place in Maryland at institutions like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and at our state’s top colleges and universities. Throughout COVID-19, our scientific community – backed by forces like NIH – has shown the incredible capacity of what it’s able to achieve. Senator Van Hollen believes we must leverage that power to make a quantum leap forward in our fight to defeat cancer and many other diseases once and for all, and he has met with President Biden to discuss advancing these efforts. And with more children lost to cancer than any other disease in our nation, Senator Van Hollen is committed to making improvements to treatments and finding cures for this vulnerable population. He worked with his colleagues to introduce and pass two bipartisan laws that expand research efforts and improve the quality of life for patients. This is an important move in the right direction; however, his fight won’t end until we’re able to save every child – and their families – from the misery of this horrific disease.
Senator Van Hollen also introduced and passed bipartisan legislation that modernizes drug development regulations to help build on the progress being made at institutions like NIH. These efforts, and others, are also vital to ensuring that the U.S. remains competitive in this global economy, which is why Senator Van Hollen helped secure key funding for NIH in the 21st Century Cures Act and support for early career researchers and research projects delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic in bipartisan legislation to spur technological innovation, sharpen America’s competitive edge, and boost American manufacturing, which passed the Senate in June 2021.
Senator Van Hollen is fighting to make health care more affordable and accessible for all, and he is committed to ensuring that our health care experts have the tools they need to solve new and emerging medical challenges and cure diseases that affect every American.