Washington – Today House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05) delivered an opening statement at the second day of a committee markup of the Build Back Better Act. Below is a copy of his remarks as prepared for delivery.
I’d like to thank the Chairman and our fantastic staff for their tireless work on this entire package, including the health care provisions before us today.
I am particularly pleased that this legislation includes a long-overdue expansion of Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing care.
As the founder and Chair of the Hearing Health Caucus, I have worked for years to ensure that everyone, including seniors, can access hearing health care services.
There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating that hearing and oral health are linked to our overall wellbeing.
This is particularly true for seniors, many of whom already face barriers to care, have one or more comorbidities, and may also face extended periods of isolation – especially during the past year.
It is simply inarguable that seniors require hearing, dental and vision care, and the current lack of coverage in Medicare is unacceptable.
This proposal represents the most significant expansion of Medicare in years, and I am proud to support it.
I am also grateful that this bill includes robust quality improvements for skilled nursing facilities.
These facilities provide essential care to our nation’s seniors, but as we have seen throughout COVID-19, patients are too often left vulnerable.
This legislation ensures that we have the data we need to establish sensible staffing standards at nursing homes, ensures that CMS has the data it needs to set appropriate policy, and ensures that patients receive the care they deserve.
I look forward to supporting this legislation today and on the floor, and I yield back.
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