Congressman Ted Deutch believes that all Americans deserve access to affordable health care and the financial security that comes with quality insurance coverage. He has consistently opposed partisan-driven efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which to date has helped extend coverage to over 10 million Americans, saved Medicare beneficiaries nearly $12 billion in prescription drug costs, and banned health insurance companies from discriminating against patients with pre-existing conditions.
Instead of rolling back these advances, Ted hopes to see Democrats and Republicans work together in the 114th Congress to make the Affordable Care Act work better for families and businesses and to promote solutions to our nation's many health care challenges. Investing in life-saving medical research, protecting Medicare, improving mental health care, and promoting public health will remain among his top priorities in the 114th Congress.
The Affordable Care Act in Florida
Ted Delivers Floor Speech on Medicaid Expansion
Ted is committed to fully implementing the Affordable Care Act in Florida, where the launch of the new Health Insurance Marketplace has proven highly successful. Nearly 893,000 Floridians enrolled in a 2014 Marketplace health plan during the first open enrollment period - more so than any other state in the country using the healthcare.gov website. Furthermore, over 90 percent of Florida’s enrollees received financial assistance made available under the law to lower the cost of their monthly premiums.
While encouraged by these successes, Ted remains gravely concerned for the 1.1 million Floridians who remain uninsured due to a refusal by Governor Scott and the Florida legislature to adopt the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid. More than half of these Floridians are low-income workers in industries like hospitality, food service, and child care who do not receive health benefits and are not eligible to buy private insurance through healthcare.gov. In 2015, Ted will continue to work with hospitals and health care advocates in Florida to pressure state legislators to accept the $50 billion in Medicaid expansion funds authorized under the Affordable Care Act, which will expand coverage, reduce uncompensated care in our hospitals, and create thousands of new jobs in our health care sector.
Efforts to keep health insurance affordable in Florida have also been undermined by a law signed by Governor Rick Scott that forbids Florida’s own state insurance watchdog from regulating health policies sold on healthcare.gov. Without a State Insurance Commissioner actively negotiating with insurance companies on Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace, Florida consumers remain vulnerable to some of the highest premium increases in the country, even as other tout successful efforts to limit premium hikes. To address this issue, Ted has cosponsored legislation in Congress that grants the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to negotiate on behalf of consumers whose state leaders have intentionally abdicated their responsibility to prevent unfair premium hikes.
Mental Health Care
A passionate advocate for improving mental health care in America, Ted was a leading voice in efforts to convince Obama Administration officials to issue long overdue rules ensuring health insurance parity for mental health patients. He is also the author of the Federal Response to Eliminating Eating Disorders Act, which would improve awareness, boost resources, and invest in research to advance the fight against deadly mental illnesses like anorexia and bulimia.