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Issues: Health Care

As costs continue to skyrocket and more and more “baby boomers” enter retirement, health care continues to be a critical issue for all Americans. Senator Levin has worked to make health care more affordable and accessible throughout his Senate career.

Carl believes that the Medicare program for seniors and disabled citizens must be improved and preserved for generations to come. Congress had an opportunity to fix many problems with the Medicare program in 2003 when considering the new prescription drug benefit. Unfortunately, the plan was overly complicated and was designed more to benefit the pharmaceutical and insurance industries than seniors. You can read more about where Senator Levin stands on prescription drugs here.

In addition, for the vast majority of Americans not receiving Medicare or Medicaid benefits, a Patients’ Bill of Rights would ensure that you and your doctor — and not your insurance company — would make medical decisions. Carl Levin supported the strong, enforceable Patients’ Bill of Rights that passed the Senate by a bipartisan 59-36 vote in 2001 but was not supported by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Carl hopes that Congress will take on this important legislation in the coming months.

Carl Levin’s decade-long effort to come up with a more effective means of combating drug abuse and addiction paid off in 2000 when President Clinton signed into law the Drug Addiction Treatment Act, which Carl Levin authored with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). This law permits physicians, for the first time, to prescribe and dispense in their private offices a non-addictive medication called buprenorphine, which actually blocks the craving for heroin. This new office-based system has opened the door to treatment to tens of thousands of individuals previously unable or reluctant to seek medical treatment at centralized and distant methadone clinics.

Finally, with respect to reproductive rights, Carl Levin respects the deeply held beliefs of people on both sides of this issue. Carl supports the right of women to make decisions about abortions themselves, within the framework of Roe v. Wade. Carl supports education, family planning, and other programs to keep abortion safe, legal and rare, and has been a strong supporter of adoption.