Health Care

Summary of Position

In the wealthiest country in the world, no American should go without access to quality, affordable health insurance and health care. This is especially true during the coronavirus pandemic, which has further revealed a broken system that leaves almost 30 million Americans uninsured. To address the inadequacy of our health care system, Congressman DeSaulnier has been an ardent supporter of protecting, strengthening, and expanding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition to fighting for a more equitable health care system that prioritizes people over profits, Congressman DeSaulnier strongly supports investing in research and innovation in new treatments and cures, addressing prescription drug affordability and health disparities, and improving the availability of and access to mental health care for all Americans.


By the Numbers

  • As of October 2020, the United States accounted for just 4% of the world’s population, but 21% of coronavirus cases and 20% of coronavirus deaths.

  • There have been at least 70 Republican-led efforts to repeal or limit the ACA, which would cost 23 million Americans their health insurance.

  • In 2019, 3 in 10 uninsured adults went without needed medical care due to cost.

  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14.    

  • 38.9% of high school students have used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days.    

  • 15.5 million Americans are living with cancer today.    


Things to Know

  • Survivor of Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

  • Founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Cancer Survivors Caucus

  • Strong supporter of efforts to curb the youth tobacco epidemic

  • Member of the Mental Health Caucus


Working for You

Addressing the Coronavirus Pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact nearly every aspect of our lives and has shone a light on severe health disparities in the U.S., Congressman DeSaulnier is working to help protect our communities and the front-line workers keeping us safe. That is why Congressman DeSaulnier voted in favor of coronavirus relief funding to pay frontline health workers, fund coronavirus testing and contact tracing, and provide free treatment for coronavirus for all. Congressman DeSaulnier continues to work with his colleagues to address the coronavirus pandemic and prioritize critical health care services to support underserved communities and urge investment in long-term solutions to prevent and mitigate future public health crises. You can find more resources on our coronavirus page.

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 and runs it with his colleague Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA). 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, and the Director of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Ned Sharpless.

Combatting the Vaping Epidemic
In 2018, over 3.6 million people under 18 used e-cigarettes, including 37% of high school seniors. This increase in the use of vaping products is undoing decades of progress made in reducing teen tobacco usage. That is why Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the Preventing Vape Use Act (H.R. 5005), which would ban the sale of any vape device that has not been approved by the FDA.

Improving Access to Mental Health Care for Children and Families
Millions of Americans are impacted by mental illness every year, particularly children. Unfortunately, the earliest most mental health programming in the United States begins is once a child enters elementary school. We know that the younger mental health interventions begin, the less likely it will be that the person develops lifelong negative impacts. That is why Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the Early Childhood Mental Health Support Act (H.R. 5569), which would provide funding to Head Start and early childhood education centers to provide mental health care and support for impacted children and families.

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. Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the Cancer Care Planning and Communications Act (H.R. 5160) to encourage more doctors to use these treatment plans.

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