Reforming America’s Health Care System
Congressman Sarbanes is a strong advocate for reforming our nation’s health care system. He has introduced and supported several bills – including the Medicare for All Act (H.R. 1384), the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act (H.R. 1884) and the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act (H.R. 1046) – that will expand affordable health coverage and improve the quality of care for all Americans. He has been an outspoken champion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because he believes it is a crucial step in our effort to reduce the cost of health care for families and small businesses, as well as to provide access for those who do not have insurance.
Improving America’s Health Care Workforce
One of Congressman Sarbanes’ top priorities is to address health care workforce shortages, particular those for primary care physicians. He worked to include several provisions in the ACA that help to alleviate some of these shortages:
- Additional scholarships and loan repayment programs for primary care providers in shortage areas;
- Strengthened grant programs for primary care training;
- A 10 percent bonus under Medicare for primary care services
- Redistribution of unused residency slots to medical programs that train more primary care physicians and general surgeons;
- An advisory commission that will help align our health care workforce with the needs of the greater population – now and in the future.
To further address the country’s shortage of primary care physicians, Congressman Sarbanes introduced H.R. 4234, the Primary Care Physician Reentry Act, which will help combat America’s shortage of primary care physicians by encouraging mid-career and retired or retiring physicians to return to practice. The legislation would provide training and financial assistance to physicians returning to medical practice in exchange for their service at community health centers, Veterans Administration medical centers or school-based health centers.