Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Improving Rural Health Care

Holding a roundtable meeting in Bend with doctors, patients, and disease advocates to discuss the 21st Century Cures Act

Working to improve access to affordable health care, especially in rural communities, has long been a priority of mine. Before I ran for Congress, I was a member of the Hood River Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees and the Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation Board. As a Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee now, I’ve listened to what constituents, doctors, stakeholders, hospitals, care providers, and disease advocates alike have to say about the direction our nation’s health care is headed.

Implementing real health reform
The  health care law, known as Obamacare, is driving up insurance costs and reducing choices for too many Oregonians. The state wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on Cover Oregon and now is mired in costly litigation.  Meanwhile, people are left to cope with more insurers leaving the market, and two new health “co-ops” set up by the law have already folded. There’s a better way to give everyone access to quality, affordable health care. Our plan would replace Obamacare with a new one that provides consumers more choices, lowers costs, focuses on curing deadly diseases like cancer, and strengthens and preserves Medicare. For more on the House GOP’s “Better Way” plan on health care, please click here.

Boosting medical research and accelerating cures 
In our increasingly connected world where innovation happens at lightning speed, health research is moving quickly. But government regulations for approval of new drugs and devices are not keeping pace with the science for some of these breakthrough cures. We can do better. I’m proudly supported the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan initiative to streamline the process for new medical treatments to help accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of cures. I also authored the FDA Reauthorization Act, which is now the law of the land and will bring new treatments, medical devices, and drugs to patients sooner.

Combating mental illness and drug addiction in our communities 
Mental illness and drug addiction touch every segment of our communities, no matter where you live or what you look like.  I am a strong supporter of two bills that are now law that will deliver help quickly to those who need it.  The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law by President Obama, expands access to care and prevention services in our communities, establishes best practices that will help prevent lawful prescription use from spiraling into abuse, and gives new tools to law enforcement and prevention advocates to combat the epidemic of painkillers and heroin.  The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which was included in the landmark 21st Century Cures Act, reforms the 112 federal programs that address mental health, allows families to better work with health care professionals to care for loved ones, increases access to inpatient care.  

Delivering vital care to seniors
Receiving care at home gives seniors more control over their health care and provides a sense of comfort, familiarity, and normalcy for patients and their loved ones. Especially in parts of rural Oregon where access to physicians can be limited, Oregon’s seniors should be able to get their care in a timely fashion without having to choose between receiving health care and remaining in his or her home. I have long worked to support and expand home health services for rural communities.

Protecting Medicare and Social Security
I helped pass a law to prevent a drastic spike in Medicare premiums and to ensure that doctors are paid fairly under Medicare so that seniors get access to the care they need from the providers they know and trust. We’ve also protected Social Security disability recipients, who would have faced a 20 percent across-the- board cut this year if Congress hadn’t acted. And I’ll continue to oppose plans to cut cost of living adjustments for today’s Social Security recipients.

More on Improving Rural Health Care

November 3, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden’s CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act passes House

Walden on extending funding for important health programs: “Patients cannot wait any longer”

October 25, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden on need to combat nationwide opioid epidemic: “Everyone has a stake in this fight”

Questions DEA on lack of cooperation, response to committee investigation into opioid pill dumping

October 19, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden announces Oregon collection sites for excess opioids, prescription pills

Part of DEA’s “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” initiative to combat opioid epidemic

October 19, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden announces details for Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on opioid crisis next week

October 11, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden on opioid epidemic: “Together, we must continue to fight this crisis”

Testifies before Congressional committee about how opioid abuse is impacting Oregon

September 28, 2017 Press Release

ICYMI: Greg Walden Expands Investigation Into Alleged Opioid Pill Dumping

Action comes as Walden renews pledge to combat opioid epidemic in Oregon and across the country

July 6, 2017 Press Release

ICYMI: Greg Walden on opioid abuse: “This is a crisis that doesn’t pick parties” 

Shares personal stories from Oregon to highlight widespread impact of the epidemic 

March 6, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden releases legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare

The House Energy and Commerce will hold a markup of this legislation on Wednesday, March 8th 

February 16, 2017 Press Release

Walden Introduces Bill to Protect Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), the Chairman of the House Energy& Commerce Committee, today introduced H.R. __, the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act of 2017.

February 2, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden: “Today we begin the important work of laying the foundation to rebuild America’s health care markets”

Walden holds hearing on rebuilding the current health care system under the Affordable Care Act