Representative Lauren Underwood

Representing the 14th District of Illinois

Health Care and Social Security

“As a nurse, I have always considered access to quality, affordable health care fundamental to my practice. I carry this with me in Congress and I consider protecting access to care for people with pre-existing conditions and making health care and prescription drugs more affordable among my most essential priorities.”  

Congresswoman Underwood believes all Americans should have high-quality, affordable health care. In Congress, she is focused on protecting people with pre-existing conditions, lowering health insurance premiums and drug prices, and expanding access to mental health care.

One of her very first bills, H.R. 1010, protects patients by banning “junk” insurance plans that don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions or health benefits people rely on like hospital services, maternity care, or prescription drugs. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives on May 16, 2019, and is awaiting consideration by the Senate. Congresswoman Underwood has also passed legislation to protect people with pre-existing conditions, allow people up to 26 years old to stay on their parents’ health insurance, and help make quality health care more affordable.

She has also introduced the Health Care Affordability Act (H.R. 1868), which would ensure that no one who buys insurance on their own has to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for health insurance premiums. This would reduce premiums by hundreds or thousands of dollars for more than 17,000 people in Illinois’s 14th Congressional District and make lower-cost options available to 22,000 uninsured people in the district.

Congresswoman Underwood believes women should have access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care options. She supports investing in nursing, mental health, and other providers to increase access to care.

Congresswoman Underwood is focused on retirement security, so that seniors who worked hard their whole lives have the comfortable and dignified retirement they have earned. She supports improving Social Security benefits and strengthening the program through the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860), which is the most important source of retirement income for 4 out of 5 seniors. She introduced H.R. 2005, the Women’s Retirement Protection Act, which would extend critical protections to women’s retirement security and ensure women can better prepare for retirement.

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More on Health Care and Social Security

October 29, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Yesterday, bipartisan legislation supported by Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) passed the House of Representatives. The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 728) amends Title VII of the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize funding for programs and grants that support the recruitment and retention of professionals for our nation’s nursing workforce.

October 23, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Representatives Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), and Steve Stivers (OH-15) introduced bipartisan legislation to combat infant mortality by investing in the Healthy Start for Infants Program. The Healthy Start Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 4801) reauthorizes appropriations for this program for five years at $135 million annually. For every 1,000 live births in the United States, nearly six babies will not live to see their first birthday.

October 18, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) introduced a five-point plan to reduce the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs for Illinois families. In the plan, Underwood details the steps Congress must to take to reduce out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, negotiate lower drug prices, eliminate price hikes, ensure generics remain affordable options, and invest in research for tomorrow’s cures. Each concept in Underwood’s proposal has bipartisan support.

September 27, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s (IL-14) legislation to address the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening and Standards Act (H.R. 3525) addresses existing gaps in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy to ensure that migrant children and families receive basic medical screenings.

September 24, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) will introduce the Chronic Condition Copay Elimination Act, legislation that would eliminate out of pocket costs for common, life-saving prescription drugs, including insulin, used to manage chronic conditions.

The Chronic Condition Copay Elimination Act would require private health insurance plans, including high deductible health plans, to cover certain preventive care and prescription drugs without charging a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible-related fee.   

September 19, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) today released the below statement following a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on drug pricing.

"Americans are being crushed by the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs--it's unacceptable and unsustainable. I'm willing to come to the table with anyone, including Secretary Azar as I did today, to address this crisis and address it immediately—too many families do not have time to wait. 

September 12, 2019 Press Release

The ACE Veterans Act expands veterans’ access to contraceptives, includes an option for full-year supply

The Post-9/11 Veteran Suicide Prevention Counseling Act would improve suicide prevention for post-9/11 veterans

August 5, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-4) hosted a mental health forum to address challenges young Americans face with mental health. In the United States, suicide remains a leading cause of death among young Americans and research indicates the number is growing each year.

July 17, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, the Committee on Homeland Security unanimously passed legislation introduced by Vice Chair Lauren Underwood (IL-14) to address deficiencies and improve medical screening procedures at the U.S.-Mexico border. Underwood’s legislation works to comprehensively improve the quality of care at the border by creating set standards and timelines for medical screening to include medical history, current medical complaints, current medications, and more.

July 12, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswomen Alma Adams (NC -12) and Lauren Underwood (IL-14), founders and co-chairs of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, convened 32 of the leading organizations working to address the Black maternal health crisis for the Caucus’ first-ever stakeholder summit.

The summit served as a listening session for Members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus to hear insights from a diverse group of stakeholders on their advocacy efforts and their recommendations for the Caucus.