Senator Gillibrand at the Sweet Briar Monday Night
It was a hot, humid night but Senator Gillibrand looked cool and comfortable at the Sweet Briar last evening.
A small group of protesters gathered at the front entrance and were treated to the Senator walking up the hill to meet with them.
The Senator discussed issues facing local dairy farmers; jobs; and health care reform.
Her message on health care was clear, concise and easy to understand.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand believes that the high cost of health care is a serious problem for families and for employers, who struggle with the high cost of providing health insurance for their employees. The problem is getting worse - more than 45 million Americans, and 2.5 million New Yorkers, are uninsured and millions of families and businesses are struggling with skyrocketing health care costs. In Congress, she will continue to fight to expand health care access and protect the coverage for those at risk of losing it. In the Senate, she will work with President Obama to reform our health care system and make it work for all of us.
Comprehensive Health Care Reform
Senator Gillibrand plans to work with President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, and Senators Kennedy and Baucus, Chairmen of the Senate Committee on Health and on Finance, respectively, to embark on comprehensive health care reform.
Currently, Americans spend more on health care than any other country in the world. In 2007, average spending per person on health care was over $6000 in America, compared with approximately $3000 in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Senator Gillibrand believes that we must get these spiraling costs under control, and take the important steps towards real reform.
Expanding Health Care Access
Senator Gillibrand is working with President Obama and his Administration to fix America's broken health care system, give power back to patients and families, and provide affordable, quality health care to every single American. Senator Gillibrand has been a leader in promoting health care access and affordability throughout her time in Congress.
In February, Senator Gillibrand worked with President Obama to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which was then signed into law. This law will provide 11 million lower and middle income children access to basic health care coverage. Senator Gillibrand was a fierce advocate for this law, voting in the House of Representatives seven times to expand the program.
In fact, she was the only Member of Congress to vote for the expansion in both the House and the Senate, and she joined President Obama at the White House when he signed the bill.
Protecting Social Security and Medicare
In the Senate, she will continue to fight to expand health care access and protect the coverage for those at risk of losing it. In the Senate, she will work with President Obama to reform our health care system and make it work for all of us. Senator Gillibrand has been a strong advocate for Medicare, ensuring that New York's seniors have access to quality, affordable health care. Last summer, Senator Gillibrand voted twice for the
Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act. This new law made a number of significant improvements to Medicare including expanding coverage of Medicare preventive services, providing greater benefits for low-income seniors, and reversing a detrimental payment cut to the doctors who care for Medicare patients. Senator Gillibrand remains committed to making sure that America's seniors always have access to the health care they need.
Helping Small Businesses Provide Health Care
Senator Gillibrand has been at the forefront of new efforts to make health care more affordable for small businesses. She cosponsored the SHOP Act to help small businesses provide health care to employees. This legislation would create a tax credit for small businesses which provide health insurance for their workers and allow them to buy into a purchasing pool to reduce their costs. More than 28 million uninsured individuals work for small businesses that cannot afford to offer health care.
Improving Health Care IT
To improve quality and efficiency, Senator Gillibrand has fought to increase our nation's investment in health care information technology. In February, she voted to provide $19 billion for healthcare information technology across the country. This is important to help improve treatment, while reducing the cost of care. Currently, one out of every five lab tests and X-rays are conducted solely because previous test results are unavailable. This waste and duplication in our system could be eliminated with improved electronic medical records and more integrated health information technology.