News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

This week presented several opportunities to strengthen the health and well-being of our fellow Americans.

I was proud to lead 188 members of Congress in saying in no uncertain terms that we won’t stand for the Trump administration’s intrusions into American women’s access to birth control. Yesterday, we sent a letter to top officials condemning the administration's new rules letting employers opt out of covering the cost of birth control through employee insurance. And last week, I introduced the Protect Access to Birth Control Act (H.R. 4082), which would fully block these new rules, preserving the Obama-era protections that have benefitted millions of women.

It’s 2017 – the time to litigate these basic reproductive rights has long passed, and I will keep working to ensure they remain protected.

 

On Wednesday, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing focused on federal efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. I questioned a panel of expert witnesses on the government’s successes and failures to date in responding effectively. The 21st Century Cures Act, my biomedical research bill that became law last December, allocated $1 billion to support state prevention programs. Congress must be sure to extend this funding to pave the way for similar programs, because efforts tailored to local and regional needs are critical to treating and preventing opioid addiction.

We must develop a comprehensive national effort to tackle this major challenge, but President Trump’s just-announced plan is far from sufficient. It does not deliver on his promise to make fighting the opioid epidemic a top priority. Our state and local officials on the front lines of this fight have been very clear: They need more funding. We must commit to devoting more money and extending vital dollars towards statewide programs beyond 2018. As a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and a lifelong resident of a state that is wrestling with this epidemic, I will continue urging the President and Congress to get serious about ending opioid abuse.

And I continued to advocate for residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands recovering from Hurricane Maria. Last week, President Trump said that his administration deserves a “10” for its response to this catastrophe. Given that most residents still don’t have power, nearly a million lack access to safe and reliable drinking water, and we continue to hear reports of subsistence living for many, I find that statement to be breathtaking. On Tuesday, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, where I serve as Ranking Member, held the first of what I hope are many hearings examining the federal government’s response to the 2017 hurricane season. I encouraged further hearings on this crisis and official congressional visits to these devastated areas so my colleagues can fully comprehend the dire need for comprehensive relief and rebuilding efforts for our fellow Americans.

As we approach a new month and the busy holiday season, I want to remind you about a very important opportunity not to be overlooked: Open enrollment for coverage under the Affordable Care Act begins November 1. Visit healthcare.gov to shop for affordable, comprehensive plans that can help ensure good health and peace of mind for you and your family. 

As always, you can visit my website, where you can read my positions on issues and learn about the different ways my staff can assist you. While you’re there, be sure to visit the “Contact” page and send me an email about what matters most to you and your family. Finally, be sure to share this email with your friends, family, and neighbors so that they too can be a part of this important dialogue.



Sincerely,

Diana DeGette
Member of Congress

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