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California State Government November 2, 2004 Election
Smart Voter

The Boxer Record on Health Care

By Barbara Boxer

Candidate for United States Senator

This information is provided by the candidate
Read some of the highlights of Barbara Boxer's record on health care.
  • Medical research has developed treatments and vaccines for many diseases previously thought untreatable. Senator Boxer is a leading advocate for increased funding for medical research. She cosponsored legislation in 1998 to double funding for medical research through the National Institutes of Health and supported subsequent budgets to make sure that the funds were allocated.

  • Senator Boxer is an outspoken proponent of increased funding for breast cancer research and for measures to encourage routine mammography. She also supported legislation that became law to provide medical assistance to low-income women with breast cancer or cervical cancer.

  • Senator Boxer was an early cosponsor and avid supporter of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which has helped more than 50 million Americans take time off from their jobs to care for an ailing family member or a new child. She is a cosponsor of legislation to expand the scope of the Family and Medical Leave Law and to make more employees eligible.

  • Senator Boxer is the Senate leader in the effort to fund international HIV-AIDS relief and authored a law to dramatically increase funding for the United States Agency for International Development's HIV-AIDS programs. She helped lead a successful bipartisan effort to fund the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world.

  • Although cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women, little research has been done on the differences in symptoms in women. To address this, Senator Boxer authored a law to increase awareness of and research into cardiovascular disease in women.

  • Senator Boxer was one of the first members of Congress to introduce legislation to protect consumers by cracking down on HMO abuses. Her bill contained a Patients' Bill of Rights to make sure that doctors and nurses, not insurance company bureaucrats, are making medical decisions. In 2004, she introduced a new Patients Bill of Rights, which would ensure that people have control over their medical decisions. Her bill would allow patients to choose their own primary doctor, receive medically necessary care from specialists, and go to the closest emergency room. It also provides for fair review of denied claims and access to justice if a denied claim results in injury.

  • Senator Boxer is committed to making quality health care more accessible and affordable for Californians. Her Health Insurance Tax Relief Act would allow the first $2,000 of health insurance premiums to be fully tax deductible. She has fought to protect important programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

  • In 2004, Senator Boxer introduced legislation to allow all Americans to buy into the same health coverage available to Members of Congress.

  • In 2003, Senator Boxer introduced legislation to provide a tax credit to help employers who offer health insurance to their employees.

  • Senator Boxer is a long-time supporter of providing a comprehensive and affordable Medicare prescription drug benefit for seniors. During debate on the Medicare bill, she authored an amendment to improve the bill by closing the gap in coverage that would cause seniors to pay for prescription drugs out of their own pocket with no help from the government.

  • Senator Boxer has been a leading voice in the fight to focus national attention on the increasing problem of prostate cancer and the desperate need for federal funds for this disease. She has been working to double the current level of federal funding for prostate cancer research.

  • Medicare is a crucial part of the safety net for our seniors. Senator Boxer helped lead the fight to stop a proposed increase in the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. She is now fighting to stop privatization efforts that would force seniors out of Medicare and into HMOs.

  • To reduce prescription drug bills, Senator Boxer is cosponsoring legislation to allow the re-importation of lower cost drugs from Canada. The same prescription drugs sold in Canada can be as much as 50% cheaper than those sold in the United States.

  • Stem cell research may hold the key to treatment and cures for many medical problems including Alzheimer's disease, juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's disease, spinal cord injuries, cancer, cardiovascular disease autoimmune diseases, and allergies. Senator Boxer opposes human cloning and supports lifting Bush Administration restrictions on stem cell research. She also supports Proposition 71 -- the California initiative to increase funding for stem cell research.

  • Senator Boxer is a long-time supporter of the Ryan White CARE Act that provides the largest federal investment in community-based HIV/AIDS health care services. Senator Boxer cosponsored the 1995 and 2000 bills that reauthorized the program.

  • An outspoken proponent of medical privacy, Senator Boxer passed an amendment to protect a patient's personal information and has spoken out against the Administration's rollback of medical privacy rules.

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