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Wyden Firsts: Fighting for Quality, Affordable Health Care

Ron was the first Senator to recognize the transformation of Medicare—with more than 60 million beneficiaries—from an acute illness program to one dominated by chronic illness. Ron proposed updating “the Medicare Guarantee“ to effectively cover chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer - improving the system for both seniors and taxpayers.

His work led to the passage of the bipartisan CHRONIC Care Act, increasing care for patients at home, expanding the use of new technologies to serve stroke patients and others for whom immediate care is crucial, and assisting with medical needs outside of traditional health care such as paying for bathtub railings to prevent falls.

Ron was the first to develop, in the bipartisan Healthy Americans Act, airtight, loophole free, protection from discrimination for Americans with preexisting health conditions. The proposal was largely incorporated into the Affordable Care Act.

Ron, with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, wrote the first tough federal law to ban ripoff health insurance policies bought by seniors to fill the gaps in their Medicare coverage.

Ron was the first to ask tobacco industry executives if nicotine was addictive, under oath, before the United States Congress. He exposed their lies and stood up against personal legal threats from this dominant industry. His work was key to a $246 billion settlement paid to state governments by tobacco companies to compensate taxpayers for caring for those with health problems caused by cigarettes. These efforts have been described as a health care win for the ages.

Wyden, as Ranking Member, led the Senate Finance Committee's first-ever vote to put a hard cap on how much Big Pharma could charge Medicare and seniors for high priced drugs.

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Meet Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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