Sen. Warner is committed to making sure that every Virginian has access to quality, affordable health care. He has been outspoken about protecting benefits for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and has fought to bring down the prices of prescription drugs. He will continue to fight for coverage for all of his constituents and stand up any attempt by the Trump administration to repeal the Affordable Care Act or take us backward.
In the Senate, Sen. Warner has defended protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions — he opposed repealing the Affordable Care Act because doing so would have cost 22 million Americans their healthcare. When the Trump administration started allowing the sale of junk health plans that put Americans at risk, Sen. Warner led the opposition, and forced Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate to vote on whether Americans’ insurance should cover pre-existing conditions. In 2019, Sen. Warner introduced the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act to prevent the promotion of “junk” health care plans that would increase costs for millions of consumers and lack adequate protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
We are facing an opioid epidemic that has already affected families across the Commonwealth. In 2016, Sen. Warner worked to pass the bi-partisan 21st Century Cures Act, to support medical research and innovation, modernize the drug approval process to get treatments to patients faster, and improve America’s mental health system. This important legislation also provided infrastructure to address the opioid epidemic.
Sen. Warner also worked to address the opioid crisis across the Commonwealth by including more counties in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program, which facilitates information-sharing and coordination between federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement branches with the goal of reducing the sale of illegal drugs and addressing the opioid crisis.
Sen. Warner has helped get millions in grant funding to Virginia communities most impacted by opioids. He was proud to support and helped write portions of the 2018 opioid crisis response bill which allocated an additional $8.4 billion to fighting the opioid epidemic on all fronts. The legislation included Sen. Warner’s proposal to expand the use of telemedicine for addiction patients, making it easier for disabled people and those in rural communities to access high quality medical professionals.
Sen. Warner worked with a bi-partisan group of his colleagues on the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance to pass the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017. This bill aims to improve health outcomes for those on Medicare who are living with chronic conditions, and modernizes Medicare benefits to better meet the needs of today’s seniors.
Sen. Warner also fought to expand Medicare and Medicaid coverage as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to ensure that everyone was adequately cared for through the coronavirus pandemic.
As a senior member of the Senate finance committee, Sen. Warner has been on the front lines of the fight to reduce prescription drug prices. He is a proud supporter of the bi-partisan Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA), which includes his proposal to allow Medicaid to pay for drugs on a value system based on effectiveness, not on profit margins for pharmaceutical companies. Sen. Warner has also long supported allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs directly with the pharmaceutical industry.
Sen. Warner is committed to making sure that every Virginian has access to adequate medical care, and is focused on making sure that health care systems are in place in our rural communities in particular. In 2013, Wellmont Health System announced they would close Lee County’s only hospital. Since then, Sen. Warner worked with Lee County residents, stakeholders, local government leaders fighting to re-open the hospital. In 2018, the Lee County Hospital reopened it’s urgent care center, and the hospital is expected to fully reopen in 2020.
In the Senate, Sen. Warner has introduced legislation that will help sustain Virginia’s rural hospitals and prevent future closures. He introduced the SAME Act, which would ensure Virginia receives its fair share of Medicaid funding that is crucial to many rural hospitals. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he introduced the bipartisan Fair Medicare Hospital Payments Act to make sure rural hospitals are fairly reimbursed for their services by the federal government.