Annie Kuster: Here’s what I’m fighting for, New Hampshire
Increasing access to affordable health care, lowering the costs of prescription drugs, protecting Granite State families from drinking water contamination, fighting climate change, combating the opioid epidemic, improving our infrastructure and holding agency officials responsible for their actions. This is just a preview of the issues that I look forward to tackling this Congress as a new member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The E&C Committee has a wide jurisdiction over issues that are important to Granite Staters, including health care, energy, the environment, broadband and internet policy, and interstate and foreign commerce.
My role on the E&C Committee gives me the opportunity to be on the front lines fighting for these New Hampshire priorities.
I’ve heard from so many Granite Staters who are tired of the partisan attacks against access to affordable healthcare. Americans expect Congress to defend access to quality, affordable care and ensure the continuation of protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. As a member of the E&C Committee, I’ve already had the opportunity to push back against the sabotage of the Affordable Care Act and highlight to the Trump administration the impact on New Hampshire families.
There is much bipartisan work we can do to improve the ACA, but we cannot allow the law to be weakened and dismantled at the expense of the most vulnerable Americans.
Far too many people in New Hampshire are paying too much for prescription drugs. We’re working together on the committee to take on this challenge and hold bad actors accountable for their role in keeping drug prices high.
Earlier this month, I expressed my outrage that some pharmaceutical companies are abusing rules meant to keep Americans safe to protect their own profits. We should be doing everything we can to lower costs for people in New Hampshire and across the country, and that means getting safe and effective generics to market.
I will work with my colleagues to advance legislation that will put patients and individuals first.
We also must build on the progress we’ve made in combating the opioid epidemic. As the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, I’ve met with many Granite State families who have been impacted by this public health emergency, and I’ve worked tirelessly to help curb it.
The E&C Committee will give me a front-row seat to make sure Congress is passing bipartisan legislation that supports individuals and families who are struggling with substance use disorder, increases access to effective addiction treatment, and helps people who have overcome substance use disorder get back to work and begin a healthy, productive new chapter in their lives.
In addition, the committee puts me right in the arena in the fight to address climate change and save our planet. We’re already seeing the impact of climate change on our economy and public safety in New Hampshire, and we owe it to our children and future generations to act swiftly and boldly to address this growing crisis. That’s why I’ll continue pushing for the development and use of renewable energy to offset high energy costs, create more jobs for Granite State workers and protect our environment. It’s a win-win opportunity.
I’ll also advocate for the expansion of broadband internet service, which is critical to boosting the economy in rural New Hampshire communities and helping businesses in these areas grow and succeed. Far too many people in New Hampshire lack access to adequate internet services, and it’s time we provide these individuals with the tools they need to compete in the 21st-century economy.
My E&C Committee colleagues and I are hitting the ground running to make meaningful change for the American people. I’m honored to have the opportunity to fight for Granite State families, and I will continue working to bring Democrats and Republicans together to find common ground and deliver reforms that will improve lives and expand opportunity for everyone.
(Congresswoman Annie Kuster of Hopkinton represents New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.)