What's needed to protect our nation's food supply (Rep. Diana DeGette)

The White House's Food Safety Working Group's public-health-focused approach to food safety signals a new day when it comes to protecting our nation's food supply. By enhancing prevention, strengthening enforcement, and improving response, the Obama administration is taking the needed steps to beef up our ailing system. And after years of neglect and countless recalls, both Congress and the White House are finally reforming and updating our food safety system.

The salmonella scare of 2008 left almost 1500 people across 43 states sick -- with tomatoes first incorrectly suspected as the culprit and jalapeños in Mexico later identified to be the source. Earlier this year, nine people died and thousands were sickened as a result of tainted peanut butter. And most recently, meat from my home state of Colorado was pulled from store shelves. The cavalcade of recalls leads one to ask: What outbreak will be next? More importantly, how can we prevent it?

We need more awareness of Lyme disease (Rep. Frank Wolf)

If you live in the mid-Atlantic region or the northeast and enjoy being outside, you might want to read up on Lyme disease. The number of cases are skyrocketing. I tell people that Loudoun County in my congressional district is like “ground zero” for Lyme. Loudoun reported half of all cases in Virginia from 2006 to 2007, the most recent year from which data is available. I received an e-mail this weekend from a Boy Scout leader in my district who told me that during a recent outing in Loudoun he pulled 26 ticks off of scouts in his troop. While it is not clear if any the ticks were carrying Lyme, it does show how easy they are to pick up.

Over the last year I have spent a great deal of time trying to increase awareness of Lyme, which can result in heart and joint problems as well as Bell’s palsy if not caught early. The FY 2010 Labor-H Appropriations bill approved last week increases the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget for Lyme disease by more than $3.6 million to $8.9 million. It also calls on the National Institutes of Health to work with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to sponsor a scientific conference on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

For the health of our health care system (Rep. Frank Lucas)

No one can deny that our health care system has problems that need to be addressed. There are those in this country who are without insurance, who are underinsured, and who go without necessary--and sometimes lifesaving--treatments each day. In a country like the United States, this is frustrating to see and we can no longer continue to accept it.

But the response to this cannot be a trillion dollar government takeover of our health care system. This month, Democrats in the House introduced their health care plan, which includes a government-run health care system that would force two-thirds of Americans out of their current, employer-provided plan. To pay for this, they proposed more than $800 billion in tax increases on small businesses and American families--during one of the most severe economic recessions this country has seen in decades.

Dramatically increasing taxes and federal spending will not solve this problem, however, something must be done.  So what is the answer?


Don't short-change women's health care (Rep. Gabrielle Giffords)

An amendment was offered this week to restrict vital funding that provides preventive and primary health care to millions of women from being made available to one of our country’s most essential community providers – Planned Parenthood.

For over 90 years, Planned Parenthood has been a trusted preventive health care provider to over three million women, men, and teens a year. To deny funding to Planned Parenthood is, quite simply, to deny essential life saving health care for millions of Americans who have nowhere else to turn.


Help Me Fight for a Public Option (Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand)

There is a historic effort underway in Washington right now to finally address the health care crisis in this country, and I need your help.

As I've written over at DailyKos and as I told Howard Dean last week, I believe that a robust not-for-profit public option must be a part of the health care reform package Congress passes this year. I feel that opening up a Medicare For All type system to everyone would lower costs and increase efficiency by injecting some much needed competition into the market.


Health insurance reform means stable costs and secure choices for every American (Rep. Russ Carnahan)

Those with and without health insurance share something in common -- they both lack stability and security when it comes to coverage, costs and quality of their health care.

Every day Americans are forced into tough decisions and circumstances that lead them to lose their health care. As the President mentioned last night, on average 14,000 Americans a day are losing their health care.

Health insurance reform means stable coverage that can’t be taken away. If your spouse is laid off or changes jobs you won’t lose your coverage. If you or your family or co-worker gets sick, you won’t pay more or lose your coverage. With health insurance reform, no one is able to get between you and your doctor. It will keep government out of health care decisions, allowing you to keep the coverage you have today if you want it.


Insurace should cover routine HIV tests (Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen)

I am all too familiar with the rising spread of HIV/AIDS in my home state of Florida; Miami-Dade County where I reside has one of the largest HIV infection rates in the nation.

This legislation will provide Americans with the financial means to get tested and know their status, which is so important in order to prevent further infections. I have worked hard to acquire funding for HIV prevention, research, and testing and I am pleased that such a bill is before the House.

No abortion ‘benefit’ for national health care

What’s happening in the Congressional battle to revamp national health care deserves attention—especially the push to include abortion services as a mandated ‘health benefit’ worthy of coverage in national health care plans.

That's right—abortion would be considered a mandatory health benefit provided in all government and private insurance plans under a proposal being considered by Congress.

Doctors encouraged to stand up to the AMA (Rep. Charles Boustany)

The American Medical Association announced its support for H.R. 3200, a health care overhaul that includes a new, government-run bureaucracy in health care. This new system will lead to increased costs for patients and taxpayers and stifle innovation. As a former cardio surgeon, I am strongly opposed to this legislation. I wrote the following letter to doctors in my district of Southwest Louisiana to let them know that there is a better way.

Hidden within ObamaCare, an abortion mandate (Rep. Joe Pitts)

This week, House committees are scheduled to begin consideration of the largest piece of health care legislation in decades. I have been critical of the health care reform proposals being offered by Democrats because of the so-called public option, which will crowd out private insurance providers and eventually lead to government-owned health care. Government-owned health care will place bureaucrats in Washington in charge of your health care options. This is wrong. Health care decisions must be made by you and your doctor.

However, there is another very serious concern with health care reform plans in Congress, especially the plan being offered in the House. It will lead to mandated coverage of abortion, forcing employers and insurance providers to cover abortion as a health care procedure and subsidizing abortions with the tax dollars of pro-life Americans who have grave moral objections.