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Courtney: Protecting Rivers & Healthcare

Support for Connecticut’s Rivers

The National Park Service’s Wild & Scenic Rivers program has been a successful tool for river and watershed preservation for decades. From the first piece of legislation I ever got signed into law that secured the “Wild & Scenic” designation for Connecticut’s Eightmile River, to the designation for Wood-Pawcatuck I helped champion just last month, protecting eastern Connecticut’s natural treasures has always been one of my top priorities. Connecticut is the proud home of four “Wild & Scenic” rivers, and on Monday I’ll join members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation to celebrate the new protections we’ve secured for the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed. However, without Congressional support for robust funding to the Wild & Scenic Rivers program in this year’s budget, two of our state’s rivers in the program will remain underfunded, and two will go completely without funding.

On Tuesday, 4/2, I released a letter signed by 42 of my House colleagues that urges the House Appropriations Committee to adequately fund the Wild & Scenic Rivers program so that the conservation plans can move forward for all of the waterways within the program. I was glad to have the support of such a broad coalition of Representatives on this request – it’s clearly the will of a bipartisan majority in Congress that these waterways be protected for all of our benefit, and for the benefit of generations to come. See the full letter HERE.

Protecting the Healthcare of Millions of Americans

This week marked National Public Health Week, a great opportunity to underscore the importance of protecting health care for the estimated 129 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions. Over the past two years the Affordable Care Act and the protections for seniors and others with pre-existing conditions has come under repeated attack by the President, and just last week the Trump administration fought for its total elimination in federal court.

On Wednesday, 4/3, I joined my colleagues in the House in voting to pass H.Res.271, which reasserts our commitment to protecting access to affordable care for seniors, women and children, and all Americans, regardless of their medical history. Opening the door for insurers to deny affordable care to people with a pre-existing condition guarantees that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance coverage. Congress has a responsibility to stand up for Americans and their healthcare, but it’s not enough to simply say “no” to attacks on existing care – we have to find ways to make it work better for people. That’s why last week I signed on as an original co-sponsor of the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Healthcare More Affordable Act, a bill that would lower health insurance premiums, strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and stop insurance companies from profiting by selling junk insurance plans. The message is loud and clear, from here at home and from across the country: we do not want to return to a healthcare system that allows for discrimination against the nearly 51% of Americans with pre-existing conditions.

From the Office of Joe Courtney, CT 2nd Congressional District



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