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Baldwin, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Palliative Care & Improve Quality of Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined her Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus colleagues Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) in introducing the Expanding Access to Palliative Care Act, bipartisan legislation to provide comprehensive palliative care services much earlier in the course of illness, helping improve both the quality of care for patients and their families and the outcomes of treatment.

“Having served as the primary caregiver for my grandmother as she got older, this issue is personal to me. Every American should be able to rest easy knowing that their loved ones are getting the high-quality care they need at a price they can afford,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to expand care options and improve the quality of life for patients who need treatment for serious illnesses.”

“Having stepped away from my career to care for my parents and in-laws as they aged, I am aware of the challenges that caretakers and patients face when trying to access palliative care services,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m introducing bipartisan legislation with my colleagues to help ensure patients are provided comprehensive palliative and health care services much earlier in the course of their illness. As a co-founder of the Senate’s Comprehensive Care Caucus, I’ll always find ways to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.”

“As a doctor, I have seen firsthand how important palliative care is for the comfort of patients and their families,” said Senator Barrasso. “Making sure patients have access to this care as soon as possible is critical to their quality of life. Our bipartisan bill ensures patients who need this care in Wyoming and across the country continue to receive the highest quality of care they deserve.”

“Palliative care is a service that many families are using to improve quality of life and outcomes for their loved ones,” said Senator Fischer.  “Our legislation would ensure more of the public has affordable access to this vital care option sooner in their health care journey. I’m proud of the work our bipartisan caucus continues to do, and look forward to continuing to advocate for the needs of patients and their families.”

Palliative care focuses on relieving and preventing patients’ suffering and improving their quality of life. This bipartisan bill would allow families to access that critical service as early as possible by creating a demonstration project within Medicare that covers palliative care concurrently with curative treatment for patients with serious illness or injury.

Senator Baldwin has championed efforts to expand access to palliative care and grow our palliative care and hospice workforce. Senator Baldwin previously introduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) to help build the palliative care workforce through enhanced training, improved education and increased funding for palliative care research.