Congressman Yarmuth is a strong advocate for the safety, healthcare, and financial security of our nation's seniors. He believes improving and preserving Medicare is crucial to protecting our seniors, and he strongly supports the Affordable Care Act, which has already extended the life of Medicare by seven years and significantly lowered costs and strengthened care for more than 84,000 Louisville seniors.
With more baby-boomers reaching retirement age, Congressman Yarmuth understands that Social Security protection and preservation are critically important. He is continuing to fight against efforts to privatize the program and risk the retirement security of our nation’s seniors. As a member of the Budget Committee, Congressman Yarmuth is a leading voice against Republican efforts not only to privatize Social Security, but also to end the Medicare guarantee and convert that program into a voucher system.
Congressman Yarmuth believes strongly that the United States should be as committed to our heroes in uniform as they are to us. He understands the great sacrifice our service members and their families make on a daily basis, and he is dedicated to seeing that they receive every benefit they were promised and have more than earned.
With these convictions in mind, Congressman Yarmuth helped pass the largest increase in veterans' health care funding in American history and secured $75 million for the construction of a new VA Hospital in Louisville. He was a strong supporter of the post 9/11 G.I. Bill, which has significantly increased educational benefits for recently returned veterans, and he will continue to work to ensure that our veterans have all the resources they need to build a strong and successful future.
Congressman Yarmuth believes that healthcare is a right and that we have a moral obligation to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable care. These beliefs led the Congressman to work with President Obama and House Democrats to craft and enact the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This landmark law ended pre-existing condition discrimination, and also eliminated annual and lifetime caps on benefits. It allows individuals to stay on their parents health plan until they are 26 and has helped millions of Americans gain access to health coverage, many for the first time. Kentucky has been a national model for the successful implementation of the ACA, with more than 500,000 Kentuckians accessing coverage through the program. Much of that progress is in jeopardy as Governor Bevin has dismantled our state exchange, kynect, and is now trying to terminate Medicaid coverage for 440,000 Kentucky residents. Congressman Yarmuth strongly opposes Governor Bevin’s short-sighted, politically motivated plans to dismantle the progress we have made and will continue to fight them every step of the way.
Education and Workforce
Since his first days in Washington, Congressman Yarmuth has fought hard to expand economic opportunities so that all Louisville families have a chance to achieve the American Dream.
Louisville has undergone massive economic development during the past decade, and Congressman Yarmuth has seen firsthand how these changes require dynamic leadership to move us forward. He championed federal incentives that revitalized manufacturing in Louisville – and he continues to fight for increased investments in infrastructure, cutting edge research and technology, and resources to promote small business growth. The Congressman knows that worker rights and the ability to collectively bargain are key components of creating a fair and vibrant economy. And Congressman Yarmuth believes that now, more than ever, the government must have an active role in taking on income inequality. He wants to raise the minimum wage and make college affordable, and he supports efforts to restore year-round Pell Grants, allow students to refinance their federal student loans, and provide free community college to students with moderate or low family incomes. Congressman Yarmuth has led efforts to strengthen investments in early education and literacy. He also supports increased funding for job training, so that we can help ensure our workforce is the most skilled and educated in the world.
Congressman Yarmuth supports a more balanced energy policy that utilizes our domestic energy resources – including clean and renewable energy sources – and promotes conservation. He believes that for the sake of our national security, we cannot afford to rely on foreign sources of energy, and that for the sake of our environment, we must work toward ending our dependence on resources that contribute to climate change.
That is why Congressman Yarmuth has supported legislation that makes historic investments in new energy-efficient technologies, emissions reduction, and our nation’s energy independence. He is a vocal advocate for ending the practice of mountaintop removal mining, which jeopardizes the health and well-being of families in the surrounding communities. He also introduced the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act, which would require the government to perform the first federal study of public health impacts of mountaintop removal mining and mandate certification of its safety before allowing it to continue.
When Republicans refused to hold a vote on commonsense gun control legislation in June of 2016, Congressman Yarmuth was among the first legislators to join Congressman John Lewis in the historic sit-in on the House floor. He believes it is long past time for Congress to approve legislation to combat our nation’s gun violence epidemic. Congressman Yarmuth believes we should start by approving legislation to keep military-style weapons off the streets, close loopholes that allow people to buy guns illegally, and require universal background checks for all gun purchases. He will continue this fight in Congress until all of our communities are safe from the scourge of gun violence.