The AHA July 18 issued a statement on the passing of Rep. John Lewis, a long-standing former member of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and Chairman of its Subcommittee on Oversight. Congressman Lewis was a close ally of America’s hospitals and a powerful advocate for the Medicare program, the Affordable Care Act and health equity.
During his tenure on Ways and Means, Congressman Lewis sponsored legislation to: delay Medicare and Medicaid cuts to disproportionate share hospitals; create new payment models to address health inequities; enhance Federal Medical Assistance Percentage payments to Medicaid expansion states; raise public awareness about suicide; provide Medicare coverage for respite care services; improve Medicare coverage for osteoporosis screening; and improve the quality of, and coverage for, kidney care and home health services.
Earlier this month, he introduced legislation directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure that minority and medically underserved communities have access to public health interventions and medically necessary health care services during the pandemic.
“The Honorable John Lewis lived with tremendous courage and grace,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “He lived his life anchored in the belief that all human beings deserve to live with dignity. The nation’s standard-bearer for justice for people of color, seniors, LGBTQ+ people, poor and working families, and veterans, Congressman Lewis was committed to laws that expanded human rights and opportunity. He believed in an America where health care is a right, not a privilege, and during his three decades in Congress he fought to make that vision a reality. Millions of Americans have healthier lives because of his support for universal coverage and health equity. The health care community remembers Congressman Lewis with profound gratitude as we celebrate his legacy.”