A Better Deal for New Hampshire
It’s been a busy week in Washington to say the least! Last night, the Senate rejected the “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act. This was a win for the American people who are tired of partisan politics getting in the way of real solutions. Everyone who took the time to call their members of Congress over the past several months has played an important role in defeating this misguided effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and I want to thank you all. I have also heard from Granite Staters who have faced challenges accessing healthcare through the ACA. I appreciate those concerns, and I recognize the ACA is far from perfect. I urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their focus on repealing the ACA and instead come to the table in good faith to improve our healthcare system so that everyone is able to access quality, affordable health insurance. I’ve outlined what I hope can be the basis for bipartisan conversations about commonsense solutions to fix problems within the ACA and look forward to working with my Republican colleagues on this critical issue. You can read about my proposal to improve the Affordable Care Act here.
We know that we have the capacity to come together in Congress to get real results. Today, Republicans and Democrats in the House joined forces and reached a deal to reauthorize the Veterans Choice program, which was set to run out of money early next month. In a state like New Hampshire that lacks a full service VA hospital, we need to ensure that veterans are able to access care outside the VA in a timely and efficient manner. The Choice Program has been an important tool for many Granite State veterans, but not all veterans have found success in the program. I’m committed to working with my colleagues on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to improve the Choice Program so that no veteran struggles to get the care they need.
This morning, we also passed my bill, the Grow Our Own Directive: Physician Assistant Employee Education Act (GOOD Act), which would address the provider shortage at the VA. This commonsense legislation is critical to bolstering staffing at veterans’ medical centers at a time when the Department of Veterans Affairs is facing a shortage of quality physicians and healthcare providers. Increasing physician assistants at VAMC’s will help VA improve the quality and timeliness of service by promoting the training and hiring of well-qualified veterans to work in VAMCs. I appreciate the bipartisan support this bill has received and thank my colleague General Bergman for working with me to pass this bill in the House. I urge the Senate to take up the GOOD Act as soon as possible.
Speaking on the House floor in support of my bill, the GOOD Act. Watch here.
This week, I also helped rollout our proposal to expand economic opportunity for hardworking Granite State families. People throughout New Hampshire and the country want the same thing: a better deal than the raw deal they’re getting now. Americans deserve the opportunity to get the necessary skills to advance in the 21st century workforce, better pay and better jobs, and a better future for our families. We can do this by fighting for paid family and medical leave, expanding educational and skill training opportunities, and encouraging our young people to pursue their interests in the fields that will be the cornerstone of the 21st century economy, such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). I’m confident that if people on both sides of the aisle work together to find commonsense solutions, we can give Granite Staters and Americans a better deal than the one they have now.
Unfortunately this week we also saw President Trump disparage thousands of brave transgender servicemembers. President Trump’s tweets that the US military would no longer allow openly transgender individuals to serve are a disgrace to the thousands of transgender service members who are bravely defending our nation. I hope the president will reconsider this stance, and I thank the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joe Dunford, for his ongoing commitment to treating all military personnel with respect and for focusing on defending the American people.
I want to remind you that democracy is not a spectator sport. Congress works for you, not the other way around, and I encourage you to reach out to your elected officials and let them know how the work they are (or aren’t) doing is impacting your life. You can reach out to me by calling my Concord office at (603) 226-1002 or my Washington, DC office at (202) 225-5206.
Thank you and I hope you enjoy your weekend!