Healthcare - NJ7 Citizens for Change

NJ7 Congressional Candidates on Healthcare

NJ Primaries are June 5! Mark your calendars and plan to vote! The following is a collection of public statements and voting records on healthcare by each of the major candidates for NJ's 7th Congressional District. Please refer to candidate websites and social media accounts for additional information and to interact with candidates.   Lindsay Brown Peter Jacob Goutam Jois Leonard Lance Tom Malinowski Supports ACA (Obamacare) YES* YES* YES NO YES Supports Single Payer YES YES N/A NO N/A Supports Women’s Health YES YES YES NO YES Supports Medicare for ALL YES YES N/A NO YES Supports CHIP N/A YES* YES YES YES Believes Healthcare is a right YES YES YES NO YES * Prefers Medicare for All - Single Payer N/A - Not Addressed
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Gag Rule: Leonard Lance and Republicans Go After Abortion Rights and Planned Parenthood

  There’s Nothing Funny About this Gag This is latest idea from the Republican Party bereft of vote-winning ideas.  When faced with the fury of voters, they failed to repeal and replace Obamacare (an action Leonard Lance voted for at least 39 times).  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Creation Act may have sent the champagne corks popping amongst the big donors, but it produced no joy in Mudville.  Nevertheless, a reliable approach to stir up the base is to go after abortion rights and Planned Parenthood.  Hence the contemplated decision to cut off abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood by banning them from receiving Title X health care funding if they mention abortion or abortion-related services-- even if they also provide safe abortion services using their own, separate, non-federal funds.  Title X is the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care that four million people rely on. And, no surprise, those who lack health insurance, or have low incomes, are those who will suffer from this decision.   This so-called “gag rule” was implemented for overseas aid years ago by the Reagan administration, and then by George W. Bush, and again a year ago by Trump/Pence. Overseas groups spending even a dime of their own money advocating for changes in their own nation’s abortion laws were made ineligible to receive family planning funds from the U.S. The results were predictable - an increase in unintended pregnancies, more unsafe abortions, and a chill on public-health research and discussions.  But it has been a policy goal of Mike Pence and the right to bring this policy home for over a decade.  There is political calculation here. Trump has been shown a list of the top 2018 competitive House races, in which every single sitting Republican is pro-life, including our own Leonard Lance. White House support for this change is seen as a winning issue. Lance has been quiet on the topic. Call him up, express your opposition to the “gag rule” and inquire of the Congressman’s position: (908) 518-7733.  If you get a straight answer, let us know.   #RememberinNovember; #NJ07.    
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New Jersey Can Tackle the Opioid Crisis

Yes, we can tackle the opioid epidemic! An epidemic that led to the deaths of 64,000 Americans in 2016, that is the root cause of the decreasing life expectancy of Americans, and is believed to cost the economy over half a trillion dollars each year. President Trump campaigned on a promise to tackle the problem.  Once elected, he declared a “health emergency”, and offered solutions that fall short of our needs. The President can huff and puff about his wall, and talk about the death penalty for dealers, but long experience tells us interdiction does not work on its own.  It will not keep fentanyl from being made and admixed with heroin to deadly effect.  No, we need to think bigger and bolder and truly make this a national priority for our time.  France had a serious epidemic of heroin overdoses in the 80’s and 90’s, with a death rate that was climbing annually by 10%. Buprenorphine is a medication that reduces cravings for opioids without becoming addictive itself. By changing the law so that any doctor could prescribe buprenorphine without any special licensing or training, France saw a 79% reduction in overdose deaths in four years.  In the US, we are ambivalent about buprenorphine, as “substituting one opioid for another.” We require doctors to complete a training program before prescribing.  Some states also restrict buprenorphine use under Medicaid. Insurers, public and private, often do not cover treatment for addiction.  We need to support Obamacare, support Medicaid, and compel insurers to reimburse for treatment.  We need to create a treatment infrastructure.  We need to to focus on reducing inappropriate opioid prescribing, and rigorously test alternatives, such as medical marijuana or cannabidiol. We must expand the availability of naloxone for overdose treatment. And we need to make all of this affordable.  If street heroin is cheaper than the cure, failure is assured.  Yes, this will be expensive.  The alternative – inaction – has a cost that is unbearable. Let’s start by voting out Leonard Lance and the Republican Congress and let’s create an equitable tax system that allows us to invest in the health of all Americans, everywhere.  #RememberinNovember #NJ07  
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Lance Tries to Douse the Flames of the Fire He Started- Lance, Medicaid and the Opioid Crisis

Lance Tries to Douse the Flames of the Fire He Started We don’t reward the drunk who sets fire to the barn for calling the fire department after-the-fact.  Yet one can compare Leonard Lance's voting behavior on public health to just such reckless behavior.  Why should we applaud him for highlighting $13 million in new funding awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services to New Jersey to combat the opioid crisis?  After all, this is the man who called for the repeal or defunding of Obamacare at least 39 times.  By repeatedly voting to repeal Obamacare, Lance voted to sabotage what has been the most effective program we have in place so far to battle opioid addiction, a scourge that in 2015 was estimated to have an economic cost of $504 billion.  That program is Medicaid. As of now, 38 States have accepted the Medicaid expansion opportunity offered by Obamacare, including New Jersey. Following that expansion, Medicaid has become the key vehicle for delivering substance-abuse and rehabilitation services to populations at risk of opioid abuse and overdose.  Nationwide, 1.9 million non-elderly Americans are addicted to opioids, 128,000 of them in our state.  About 1 million of these people are low income, and to the extent they that they are being helped, those with Medicaid are twice as likely as those with private insurance or no insurance to receive any treatment for their addiction.  The public option, Medicaid, is on the front lines, as it has been in the past in other public health crises.  Small wonder that States have looked for waivers to allow their Medicaid recipients to receive additional services for those suffering from addiction, such as supportive housing, supported employment (such as job coaching), and peer recovery coaching. Republicans have painted Medicaid as the problem, not as necessary tool to combat opioid use, and their claim has been thoroughly debunked. The truth is that both Medicaid and Medicare offer opportunities to make a large dent in the problem, a reality that Congressman Lance’s Energy and Commerce Health SubCommittee has finally woken up to.  Pity about the 39 votes, Congressman.  It’s a bit late to call the fire department.  #RememberinNovember. #NJ07.
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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: This Issue is Not Going Away

  Way back in 2013, Congressman Leonard Lance’s proud boast was that he had voted 39 times to repeal, defund or dismantle Obamacare. In 2017, Lance voted FOR the Republican repeal measure, when it emerged from the Committee on which he serves. Of course, when faced with a constituency-wide rebellion, Congressman Lance changed his tune, and ultimately voted AGAINST the legislation on the House floor. This is the vote he would like us to remember in his attempts to paint himself as the model of a moderate Republican. 
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