Tim believes that health care is a right. He remains committed to protecting the Affordable Care Act and improving the health care system to give all Americans access to quality, affordable health care. As a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, he’s introduced legislation to give Americans more options for affordable health insurance, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and combat the opioid epidemic.
Tim supports giving Americans more options for affordable health insurance, and he has co-authored a proposal to do just that: Medicare-X. Medicare-X would create a low-cost public option for health care, available in every ZIP code, allowing Americans to choose between the existing private insurance plans or a public one. Medicare-X would build on the Medicare framework of doctors to establish a public insurance plan offered on the individual and small business health exchanges. The Medicare-X plan initially would be available in areas where there is a shortage of insurers or higher health care costs due to less competition—including rural communities—then expand to every ZIP code in the country.
Tim believes we must do more to lower health care costs while improving the quality of care through promoting preventive care and effectively using technology, like telehealth.
Tim is a strong supporter of Medicare and Medicaid — critical programs that provide health care and economic security to seniors, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable Americans. He has been a vocal supporter of Medicaid expansion in Virginia, which provided hundreds of thousands of people with access to care.
He has also introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat Alzheimer’s disease and support caregivers who sacrifice so much to help their loved ones.
Tim has championed bipartisan legislation to fund pediatric cancer research, named in honor of Gabriella Miller of Loudoun County, a powerful advocate for pediatric research who passed away from a brain tumor at the age of 10. The bill became law in 2014 and has already provided $50 million for the Pediatric Research Initiative Fund.
Tim has led the fight to protect young people from harmful tobacco products and successfully passed legislation raising the federal tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21.
He has also introduced and successfully pushed for Senate passage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, legislation to prevent burnout, suicide, and mental and behavioral health issues among health care workers. The bill was named after a Charlottesville-born physician who died by suicide in April 2020 while working on the frontlines of the pandemic in New York. It was signed into law by President Biden on March 18, 2022.
Tim is also closely focused on the drug and opioid epidemic affecting communities across Virginia and the nation. From the coalfields in Southwest Virginia to the suburbs in Fairfax County, he has heard from families who have lost children to drug overdoses, law enforcement officers who are facing increases in drug-related crimes, and businesses who struggle to find workers who can pass a drug test. He has worked to pass legislation to help reduce opioid overdose deaths through improved access to the life-saving drug naloxone, and to incorporate job training into drug addiction recovery programs.