Health

If there is one message I have received loud and clear during my town hall meetings this year it has been this: our health care system needs reform. However, most people have argued the answer is not a federal government-run health care system in this country. Instead, they tell me their biggest concerns are cost and access. While our health care system is not perfect, they argue, it is still one of the best in the world. As the old saying goes, you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

So if dramatically increasing taxes and federal spending will not solve this problem what is the answer?

A Solution for the Uninsured. There are approximately 47 million Americans without health insurance coverage in this country. When they become ill, they go to an emergency room where treatment and tests are dramatically more expensive, driving up the cost of health care. We must address this problem. One option might be to provide funding for private health insurance for those Americans who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Senator Coburn’s legislation the Patient’s Choice Act proposes a refundable tax credit of $2,300 per individual and $5,700 per family. This would be one way to help Americans cover their health insurance costs without a complete federal government takeover of the system.

Lowered Costs and Maintained Choice. We need to lower the cost of medical procedures and the cost of health insurance. The best way to do this is to ensure transparency in the system. We need to allow patients to view the costs of procedures as well as the costs of insurance policies side-by-side. This will encourage competition within the market and help to lower prices without putting federal bureaucrats between patients and their doctors.

Access for All Americans. Access to health care is a major issue in rural America. Right now, there are many Oklahomans who live in rural areas and have problems getting to hospitals or doctors in order to receive the treatments they need. One way to address this issue would be to expand the use of telemedicine technologies. In Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University sponsors a mobile clinic that drives to area towns that do not have a local hospital. Patients receive treatments directly from staff in conjunction with doctors and specialists via video without having to drive hundreds of miles. It has become a great asset to the communities it serves.

Although there are other important subjects that should also be addressed – including preventative care and continued innovation in the medical field – I believe addressing these three issues will have the greatest impact. I will continue to monitor all pieces of legislation currently being considered in Congress regarding health care and I look forward to working with my colleagues to draft a final bill that will improve our health care system in a fiscally responsible way without losing the standard of care we have now.

More on Health

October 8, 2021 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Last week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced nearly $1 million in funding to the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences for a new initiative to establish the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity (the Center) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
August 18, 2021 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Last week, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined Congressman Ronny Jackson (TX-13) and 79 of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in sending a bipartisan letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough, urging him to prioritize care for rural veterans. Historically, veterans in rural areas have faced challenges with accessing quality care because many of the VA’s resources are devoted to urban areas. The letter discusses improving overall access to care for rural veterans through creative solutions, cross-agency collaboration, public-private partnerships, and improved rural broadband.
July 28, 2021 In The News
We’ve all been busy this summer, and we’re all enjoying the freedom from COVID but there’s one thing Oklahoma needs you to not forget: Get your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
July 8, 2021 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Recently, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) cosponsored the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, introduced by Representatives Mike Thompson (CA-05), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Doris Matsui (CA-06) and Peter Welch (VT-AL). This bipartisan and bicameral comprehensive package expands the use of telehealth services, delivering cost effective and efficient care to patients.
June 28, 2021 Press Release
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) in sending a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, expressing concern regarding the updated Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting requirements.
June 11, 2021 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) today announced, after months of work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Harmon Memorial Hospital in Hollis, Oklahoma has received an extension of their designation to continue to serve the community as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). In March, Lankford, Inhofe, and Lucas sent a letter to then-Acting CMS Administrator Liz Richter to push for Harmon Hospital to remain a critical access hospital.
April 12, 2021 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined Representative Greg Pence (R-IN) and 28 other Members of Congress in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to support America’s rural communities in the second round of funding for the Commission’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program.
March 25, 2021 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Recently, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) cosponsored the bipartisan Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act, which would support financially vulnerable hospitals serving our rural communities. Introduced by Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), the legislation would update and expand Medicare’s Critical Access Hospital (CAH) program so more rural hospitals could qualify under the program, helping stabilize vulnerable hospitals and allowing them to continue to provide accessible, quality, and affordable health care services to rural communities.
March 17, 2021 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Last week, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) in reintroducing the Reviewing Urban and Rural Adjustments to Level Hospital Expenses and Lopsided Payments Act, otherwise known as the RURAL HELP Act in the 117th Congress.
March 12, 2021 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) applauded the announcement by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo today that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.25 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Fairview, Oklahoma, to assist in the expansion of the outpatient therapy department of Fairview Regional Medical Center.