Health Care

Everyone should have access to quality, affordable healthcare, including preventative services, regardless of their economic background or medical history. I was not in Congress when it became law, but I support the goals of the Affordable Care Act and will work to strengthen and improve it. I also believe that robust funding of research programs at the National Institutes of Health and other agencies is key to improving outcomes for patients and reducing costs in our healthcare system.

What I am Doing for You

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 1976, the Medicare for All Act of 2021, to guarantee health care to everyone in America as a human right by providing comprehensive benefits to all with no copays, private insurance premiums, deductibles, or other cost-sharing. 

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 3407, the Mothers and Offspring Mortality & Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA’s) Act, to tackle the growing epidemic of maternal mortality and severe morbidity by standardizing maternal mortality and morbidity data collection across states, and authorizing a designated federal agency to aggregate that data; empowering the CDC to provide technical guidance and publish best shared maternal mortality and morbidity prevention practices; authorizing evidence-based national obstetric emergency protocol and best practices to save mothers’ lives; expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage through one full year after giving birth; and ensuring improved access to culturally competent care training and workforce practices throughout the care delivery continuum. (I previously cosponsored this as H.R. 1897 in the 116th Congress.)

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 3126, the Healthy Maternal and Obstetric Medicine (Healthy MOM) Act, to ensure that all women eligible for coverage through the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces, as well as women eligible for other individual or group health plan coverage, can access affordable health coverage throughout their pregnancies. The bill would do this by establishing a special enrollment period for expectant mothers. Right now, marriage, divorce, having a baby, adoption and changing jobs are considered qualifying life events that trigger a special enrollment period; however, becoming pregnant is not considered a qualifying event.

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 3537, the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act, a bipartisan bill directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to support research on, and expanded access to, investigational drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 1305, the Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal (REPEAL) HIV Discrimination Act, to modernize laws and policies to eliminate discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS. Federal and state laws, policies, and regulations should not place a unique or additional burden on individuals solely as a result of their HIV status, and this bill offers a step-by-step plan to work with states to modernize their laws.

I cosponsored, voted for, and the House passed H.R. 941, the Timely ReAuthorization of Necessary Stem-cell Programs Lends Access to Needed Therapies (TRANSPLANT) Act, a bipartisan bill to ensure the continued, equal-access provision of lifesaving transplants for patients in need of life-saving cellular therapy by reauthorizing the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and the National Cord Blood Inventory for five years.

I cosponsored H.R. 151, the Preventing Future Pandemics Act, a bipartisan bill directing the State Department to work with international partners to shut down commercial wildlife markets, end the trade in live wildlife for human consumption and stop the associated wildlife trade, end the import, export and sale of live wildlife for human consumption in the United States, and phase out demand for wildlife as a food source.

I cosponsored H.R. 366, the Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill to eliminate most geographic and originating site restrictions on the use of telehealth in Medicare and establishing the patient’s home as an eligible distant site; authorize the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service to continue reimbursement for telehealth for 90 days beyond the end of the public health emergency; make permanent the disaster waiver authority, enabling Health and Human Service to expand telehealth in Medicare during all future emergencies and disasters; and require a study on the use of telehealth during COVID, including its costs, uptake rates, measurable health outcomes, and racial and geographic disparities.

I cosponsored H.R. 3183, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, a bipartisan bill to provide immediate access to support and medical care for individuals with metastatic breast cancer who already qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and are therefore eligible for Medicare. Under current law, these individuals must wait five months for SSDI and 24 months for Medicare benefits to take effect. This bill would waive both waiting periods, potentially improving outcomes for Americans with late-stage cancer.

I cosponsored H.R. 3085, the Equity in Neuroscience and Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials (ENACT) Act of 2021. This bipartisan bill would increase the participation of underrepresented populations in Alzheimer’s and other dementia clinical trials by expanding education and outreach to these populations, encouraging the diversity of clinical trial staff, and reducing participation burden, among other priorities. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia disproportionately affect older Black and Hispanic Americans compared to older White Americans. Black Americans are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s and Hispanic Americans are one and a half times more likely to develop the disease. However, most of the Alzheimer’s research to date has not included sufficient numbers of Blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans to be representative of the U.S. population. 

I cosponsored H.R. 2517, the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act, a bipartisan bill to help the 95% of individuals with dementia that have one or more other chronic conditions, such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. The bill reduces medical complications for these patients by creating a new way to fund dementia care through Medicare; this new model of managing care can help reduce hospitalizations and emergency department visits and delay nursing home placement, which improves the quality of life for patients and makes treatment more affordable.

I cosponsored H.R. 1474, the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act, a bipartisan bill to provide training and support services to those providing unpaid care to patients with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the Office of Minority Health and the Office of Women’s Health to ensure that women, minorities, and other underserved communities are not left behind.

I cosponsored H.R. 623, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act 2.0, a bipartisan bill to provide a new source of funding for the National Institutes of Health’s Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program by redirecting penalties collected from pharmaceutical, cosmetic, supplement, and medical device companies that break the law.

I cosponsored H.R. 2631, the Amputation Reduction and Compassion (ARC) Act, a bipartisan bill to require Medicare, Medicaid, and plans sold on the federal healthcare exchanges to fully cover screening tests for beneficiaries who are at-risk of Peripheral Artery Disease. 

I cosponsored H.R. 2255, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, a bipartisan bill to support visas for foreign-born doctors currently serving among the American healthcare workforce and additional visas for foreign-born nurses to come serve in the United States. The bill would reallocate visas previously authorized by Congress that have not currently been used; of these, 15,000 visas would be reallocated for foreign-born physicians and 25,000 visas for foreign-born nurses.

I and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) led 40 of our colleagues in writing a July 2021 letter asking Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to issue guidance that federally-funded and federally-administered health insurers must cover all pregnancy and pregnancy-related services, including coverage of maternity care for dependents.

In the 116th Congress:

I voted consistently against many bills which would take health care away from millions of Americans by repealing all or part of the Affordable Care Act.

I introduced H.R. 4393, the Advancing Access to Precision Medicine Act. This bipartisan bill would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Medicine to develop recommendations on how the federal government may reduce barriers to  use of genetic and genomic testing to allow better delivery of precision medicine — the customization of healthcare, with medical decisions, treatments, practices, or products tailored to the individual patient.

My colleagues and I passed H.R. 1058, the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019, of which I was a co-sponsor. This bill provides $1.8 billion in funding for autism programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Health Resources and Services Administration.

In a bipartisan step towards providing affordable healthcare to the middle class, my colleagues and I passed H.R. 748, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019, repealing the 40% excise tax on high-value, employer-sponsored health insurance, known as the Cadillac Tax. Tax breaks for the one percent should not replace life-saving medical care for the working class. I also co-sponsored this bill in the 114th and 115th Congresses.

Together with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, I cosponsored H.R. 2328, the Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence Act of 2019. This bill would sustain the nation’s access to critical primary and preventative care services by extending funding for Community Health Centers for five years.

I cosponsored H.R. 1784, the Healthy Families Act, which would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days per year to recover from short-term illness, care for a sick family member, seek routine medical care, or seek assistance related to domestic violence. Prioritizing workers’ health keeps our families strong, our businesses productive, and our communities resilient. I previously co-sponsored this bill in the 114th and 115th Congresses. 

Understanding the critical importance of timely cancer detection, I cosponsored H.R. 1570, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2019, eliminating any co-pays under Medicare related to colorectal cancer screenings. Early detection cuts costs and saves lives.

To broaden access to training for aspiring medical professionals, I cosponsored H.R. 1763, the Physician Shortage Reduction Act, which would increase the amount of residency slots in hospitals nationally. We must encourage the growth of a medical workforce capable of supporting our rising need for care.

My colleagues and I have passed the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act, a bipartisan bill which created an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country. This advanced early detection and diagnosis, reduced risk, and prevented avoidable hospitalizations. It also increased nationwide implementation of the Healthy Brain Initiative’s Public Health Road Map by establishing Alzheimer’s centers of excellence, providing cooperative agreements to public health departments, and improving data collection, analysis and timely reporting.

I worked with Republican and Democratic colleagues to pass the Childhood Cancer STAR Act, a bipartisan bill which would promote research on and delivery of pediatric cancer treatment. I also cosponsored this bill in the 114th Congress.

My colleagues and I have also passed the Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act. This bipartisan bill would allow for the creation of nationally designated children’s hospital networks to serve children with medically complex conditions and let them travel across state lines to receive care. I also co-sponsored this bill in 114th Congress.

 

                                                                          

Rep. Swalwell visits the Stanford Genome Technology Center, where Dr. Ron Davis and his researchers are seeking treatments and a cure for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, August 2016.

More on Health Care

July 16, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) today introduced two bills to better prepare the federal government to treat pandemics like COVID-19 as national security threats.

July 7, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Eric Swalwell (CA-15) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) today led 40 of their colleagues in asking Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to issue guidance that federally-funded and federally-administered health insurers must cover all pregnancy and pregnancy-related services, including coverage of maternity care for dependents.

April 27, 2021 Press Release

CASTRO VALLEY, CA — Today, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) announced he would bring Michelle Gutierrez-Vo, RN, a local CA-15 nurse, as his virtual guest to President Biden’s joint address to Congress on Wednesday. Gutierrez-Vo lives in Union City with her family and works in the adult medicine clinic at Kaiser Permanente in Fremont.