Kiggans Responds to POTUS’ Healthcare Fearmongering

Feb 28, 2023
Healthcare
Press

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the following statement in response to the President’s visit to Virginia Beach:

“Today the President came to Virginia’s Second Congressional District – my district – and attempted to mislead my constituents about benefit cuts I actively oppose.

“Instead of joining me and my Republican colleagues in a commonsense conversation about how to strengthen Medicare and lower healthcare costs, he painted this red versus blue picture to scare seniors and others who rely on these critical programs. Like so many across the country, they are fearful about how to pay for their healthcare costs as inflation under this Administration continues to chip away at family budgets.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my first two months in Washington, it’s that actions speak louder than words. As the only geriatric nurse practitioner in Congress, I’ve had the privilege of caring for our Greatest Generation for many years, proudly providing them the quality healthcare they deserve as they age.

“This issue should never be used as a partisan publicity stunt. Improving Medicare to ensure it can continue to provide America’s seniors with the services they rely on will require bipartisanship; it will not be accomplished by endless fearmongering, finger pointing, or falsehoods.

“I am laser focused on my work in Congress to provide affordable and accessible care for Virginians and all Americans. I encourage the President, and my Democrat colleagues, to stop playing politics and work with me and the new House majority to deliver real, permanent relief to rising healthcare costs that Americans deserve.”

BACKGROUND

After serving in the U.S. Navy, Congresswoman Kiggans used her GI Bill benefits to go back to school and become a board-certified Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. A graduate of Old Dominion University’s Nursing School and Vanderbilt University’s Nurse Practitioner program, she has worked in several long-term care and nursing facilities in Virginia Beach and Norfolk in addition to serving as a primary care provider for a small private practice in Virginia Beach.

In the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2024, the annual Obamacare rule, the Biden Administration proposed limiting the number of plan offerings, which will result in 2.7 million Americans – more than one in four who are enrolled through the federal platform – to be kicked off their Obamacare plans.

The Congresswoman is a cosponsor of H.Res.118, which reaffirms the House’s commitment to save and strengthen Medicare as a vital program for senior healthcare, and H.Res.117, which recognizes Social Security as a key pillar of retirement security for tens of millions of Americans and reaffirms the U.S. House of Representatives’ commitment to not cut Social Security.

After the State of the Union, Congresswoman Kiggans was interviewed by CSPAN, during which she reiterated her commitment to supporting Medicare in addition to addressing general, much-needed healthcare improvements. You can watch that interview here.

A study conducted by VitalTransformation found that if the drug price controls in the Inflation Reduction Act had been enacted during the last decade, only six of the 110 currently approved therapies would have made it to patients. In oncology alone, the University of Chicago found that price controls in the bill will reduce overall annual cancer R&D spending by about $18.1 billion.

Last Congress, Democrats passed H.R. 6833, which caps monthly out-of-pocket costs on insulin for individuals on private health insurance plans for insulin products at $35 or 25% of a plan’s negotiated price (after any price concessions), whichever is less, beginning in 2023.

However, this legislation enforces a cap on copays, not on the price of insulin itself. While the bill would cap a patient’s copay at $35, it does nothing to address the underlying cost of insulin nor does it prevent pharmaceutical companies from increasing the price at which they sell their drug to insurance providers. This means that private health insurance companies and Medicare are left picking up the remaining cost, a cost that would likely be inevitably past off to Virginians in the form of higher premiums. In addition to that concern, uninsured patients would be left without any assistance, and would still be required to pay the full list price under this proposal. 

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