Tim believes that health care is a right. He remains committed to protecting the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid, 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 long fought for legislation to give Americans more options for affordable health insurance, lower the cost of prescription drugs, support caregivers, and combat the opioid epidemic.
Tim has introduced the Medicare-X Choice Act to build on the Medicare framework by creating 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. In 2022, Tim helped pass historic health care milestones into law through the Inflation Reduction Act, including provisions allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices for seniors and people with disabilities, establishing a cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors covered under Medicare Part D, and expanding the Low-Income Subsidy program that helps cover prescription drug costs for over 11,000 low-income Virginians with Medicare. The legislation also included a permanent extension of the funding source for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which provides benefits to miners, miner retirees, and their families. He has also been a vocal supporter of Medicaid expansion in Virginia, which provided hundreds of thousands of people with access to care, including Virginia’s recent effort to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage and ensure new moms have access to the care they deserve.
Tim understands that the COVID pandemic has introduced new demands on our health care system, and supports the expanded use of technology—such as telehealth—to meet our communities’ needs. Tim has also been a vocal advocate for increased awareness and research into long COVID, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate has impacted about 14% of Americans. And in recognition of the toll the pandemic has taken on health care professionals, Tim introduced and successfully passed 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.
Tim is also closely focused on tackling 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.
Tim has also championed bipartisan legislation in several other areas, including securing over $100 million in funding to expand pediatric cancer research through the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, successfully raising the federal tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21 through his Tobacco-Free Youth Act, and supporting maternal health through introducing his Mothers and Newborns Success Act.