All across the Commonwealth, Pennsylvanians are struggling with the rising cost of health care and worried about the government's growing control over our health care decisions.
The experience of the past several years has proven that Obamacare is fundamentally flawed in its approach to improving the nation's health care system. It forced people to buy overpriced health plans they do not want, hiked taxes, and put important and personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats instead of patients and their doctors. Further, Obamacare exacerbated the already perilous fiscal condition of Medicaid, America's largest health care program, by adding millions to its rolls without any reforms that could make the program sustainable for the long-term.
Senator Toomey believes the best way to lower health care costs is to empower patients to make choices and increase transparency within the health care system. He helped lead the fight to repeal the individual mandate, an ill-conceived tax that punished those who either could not afford, or did not want, government-approved insurance products. Senator Toomey also supports measures giving consumers in the nongroup market the same tax advantages individuals enjoy when they purchase health insurance from their employer, providing targeted assistance to help those with costly and chronic conditions afford care, and making the reforms necessary to preserve important safety net programs for future generations.
As Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, Senator Toomey has pursued a three-pronged approach to combatting the epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse that is ravaging our communities. This includes stopping illegal diversion of prescription painkillers, reducing the overuse of opioids for treating long-term pain, and helping those battling addiction receive appropriate treatment.
In 2016, Senator Toomey worked across the aisle to pass the Stopping Medication Abuse and Protecting Seniors Act (Section 704 of Public Law 114-198). This important law will help prevent inappropriate opioid use in the Medicare program and improve patient care for at-risk beneficiaries.
Senator Toomey serves as co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Since being elected to the Senate, he has worked to bring focus to the challenges an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis imposes for families, chairing a Congressional hearing on the subject in the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care. Additionally, Senator Toomey has supported successful efforts to improve Medicare coverage for Alzheimer's disease victims and bolster the research and innovation being done at the National Institutes of Health.