Democracy Awards

Health Care

Summary of Position

All Americans should have quality, affordable health insurance. In addition to being a strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congressman DeSaulnier is a supporter for the investment in research and innovation in new treatments and cures, addressing prescription drug affordability, and stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic in America.  

By the Numbers

  • 20 million previously uninsured people gained health care coverage under the ACA.
  • More than 1.6 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year.
  • 15.5 million Americans are living with cancer today.
  • More than 115 Americans die from a prescription drug overdose every day.
  • Nearly 20% of adults say they have not filled a prescription due to cost.

Things to Know

  • Voted against 60 attempts to repeal the ACA
  • Ardent supporter of efforts to maintain coverage for people with pre-existing conditions
  • Member of the Heroin Task Force
  • Working to make prescription drug monitoring programs more efficient and effective

Working for You

Congressional Cancer Survivors Caucus
As a survivor of the most common leukemia in the world, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), Congressman DeSaulnier founded the Congressional Cancer Survivors Caucus with his colleague Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX). The Caucus is an open forum that has hosted leaders in the cancer field such as the President of the Biden Cancer Initiative and former Executive Director of the President’s Cancer Moonshot, Greg Simon, as well as the new Director of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Ned Sharpless.

Increase Access to Cancer Treatment Planning and Patient Navigators
Cancer treatment plans, which outline the steps that a patient will go through in treating their illness, improve outcomes and allow patients to actively participate in their own care. Mark recently introduced the Cancer Care Planning and Communications Act (H.R. 5160) to encourage more doctors to use these treatment plans.

Combatting the Opioid Epidemic
Pharmacists often are the last line of defense in the deadly opioid abuse epidemic that tens of thousands Americans struggle with daily. That is why Mark introduced the bipartisan Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act (H.R. 4275) with his colleague, and the only pharmacist in Congress, Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) to help pharmacists know how to identify and deny fraudulent prescriptions.

Making Health Care Premiums More Affordable for the Middle Class
While the ACA made health care more affordable for millions of Americans, insurance companies seeking higher profits have increased costs for many middle class families. Congressman DeSaulnier recently introduced the Affordable Health Insurance for the Middle Class Act (H.R. 5258) to cut costs for all families by making subsidies available to everyone.

For a downloadable copy of Mark's health care work, click the image below: