House Suburban Caucus advances congressional pandemic response

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the everyday lives of many Americans. People have lost jobs, families have lost school and daycare options, and cities are grappling with health and safety protocols and an impacted economy. As our world starkly changes around us, our response to the challenges we face must evolve as well.

To help shape our nation’s response, today the House Suburban Caucus is endorsing a legislative agenda designed to address many common issues facing our constituents. The pandemic has forced us to reevaluate work-life balance and adapt to new realities, and we believe it is our responsibility to step up and offer solutions. The legislation we are endorsing targets issues that suburban families are grappling with, including health care, education and childcare.

To avoid possible exposure to the coronavirus, many have made the choice to stay away from doctors’ offices for all but the most serious concerns, an understandable fear that has unfortunately led to otherwise avoidable health complications. Congress has acted to improve telehealth options, and the Suburban Caucus is endorsing legislation that would expand and make permanent telehealth services to ensure people have access to the care they need, including mental health services. Last month, Rep. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerDCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to ‘Red to Blue’ program Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates The Hill’s Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war MORE, chair of the House Suburban Caucus, introduced a telehealth package made up of nine separate pieces of legislation written by Republican members committed to prioritizing health care access and affordability as part of our promise to build a better health care system for Americans.

The legislation would make telehealth more affordable for those on high-deductible health plans, expand telehealth for veterans, address restrictions that deter health care providers from providing telehealth services, and permanently waive the originating site and geographical restrictions affecting our seniors on Medicare, among other provisions. Telehealth is a new frontier of medicine that will give families and patients the ability to choose how to get health care on their own terms, not terms dictated by bureaucratic restrictions. The Suburban Caucus is also proud to champion legislation that would provide health insurance premium assistance to workers who are unemployed. No one should lose their insurance or be forced to pay increased premiums because they lost their jobs during a pandemic. Suburban Republicans are committed to crafting and implementing initiatives that help Americans struggling with health care affordability so that everyone has the coverage they need.

Our educational system has also been shaken by the spread of the virus, and many schools have already announced they will be moving to online or hybrid learning until a later date. Parents are concerned about the efficacy of remote learning, the potential effects of too much screen time, the challenge of balancing work schedules while

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