Michael has taken a leading role in working to improve our nation's health care system and making sure it works for Colorado families. From expanding access to affordable health insurance to investing in new models, technologies and science that will help to reduce the cost of health care service, Michael has worked with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve the quality of health care in America.
As the Affordable Care Act continues to be implemented in Colorado and across the country, Michael is working to ensure that the law is enacted effectively and responsibly. This includes Connect for Health Colorado, the one-stop shop for individuals and small businesses in Colorado.
Beyond expanding access to health insurance, Michael has worked to reduce the bureaucratic hurdles that slow innovation and limit patient access to life-saving treatments. He has consistently worked to reduce Medicare costs by reducing hospital readmission rates and has worked to improve the drug supply chain to ensure that counterfeit or tainted medicine is quickly removed from the market.
- In 2009, Michael championed a bipartisan measure that expands access to quality, affordable health care in rural areas. The provision, which was signed into law, created a deficit-neutral reserve fund to address systemic inequities in the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement program that impeded access to primary care and outpatient services, hospitals, and an adequate supply of a health care workforce.
- Michael has worked to expedite the FDA's approval process for breakthrough drugs and treatments that show dramatic responses early in development. The measure, which was cosponsored by Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Richard Burr and signed into law by President Obama, will help to advance innovations in cancer, Alzheimer's and other diseases.
- Michael championed the bipartisan Drug Quality and Security Act (also known as "Track and Trace"), the most comprehensive drug supply chain security provisions in 25 years. Signed into law in 2013, the law creates a system to track domestic prescription drugs from the moment they are manufactured to the moment they are delivered to the drug store. The new security measures will help regulators and manufacturers quickly remove counterfeit and tainted drugs from the market.
- To help cut the cost of Medicare reimbursements, Michael inserted legislation into the Affordable Care Act to reduce hospital readmissions, which cost Medicare $17 billion a year, even though many seniors are readmitted to the hospital within the same month for problems that are preventable. Our bill was based on the work by hospitals in Grand Junction and Denver that are reducing readmissions through transitional care.
- Michael worked with Republican Senator Lamar Alexander to write and pass the "Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early" (PREEMIE) Reauthorization Act, which will help to reduce infant deaths and disabilities related to preterm birth. The legislation, signed into law in November 2013, supports and expands research, education, and intervention activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration.