Why I’m Fighting to Protect Health Care

The fight on health care continues to be front and center in the U.S. Senate. Senate Republicans have unveiled a so-called ‘fix’ to their ‘health care’ bill. But in reality, they only made it worse. It now includes a provision from Senator Ted Cruz that allows insurance companies to segregate the market into those who feel they are invincible (they can purchase cheaper "junk insurance" plans only to discover their insurance doesn't cover their unexpected needs) from those who expect to need decent coverage. It will lead to huge, unaffordable price hikes for anyone with pre-existing conditions and, even the insurance companies concede, it would throw much of the insurance market into a death spiral.

And the rest of the bill is still rotten to its core. It guts patient protections – even those who purchase insurance through their employer will risk losing protections. It still kicks millions of kids, seniors, and struggling families in Maryland and across the country off of Medicaid, and it would cap the care for those who are able to still receive coverage – especially people with disabilities. And it turns back the progress we’ve made in fighting the opioid epidemic – all while giving big tax breaks to powerful corporations.

This week, I met with a family from Maryland who lost their son and brother, Jaime, to an opioid overdose. He was a proud University of Maryland Terp, a special education teacher, and an amazing cook with a kind heart. I also recently had the opportunity to visit Beacon of Hope Recovery Center in St. Mary’s County to talk with health care professionals, law enforcement officials, and Marylanders recovering from addiction about how important it is to treat addiction like the dangerous health issue that it is. I am so grateful to my fellow Marylanders, who are willing to share their stories in the fight to protect our health care system. At the end of the day, I hope stories like these will help my Republican colleagues realize how misguided and damaging their health care plan is.

I stand ready to work on a bipartisan basis to improve our health care system – but I will fight tooth and nail against any effort to take health care away from families who need it the most in order to give tax breaks to big corporations and special interests.


Chris Van Hollen

United States Senator 



Confronting the Danger Posed by North Korea

With North Korea now capable of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach Alaska, it has crossed a critical and dangerous threshold -- and the United States must take action. That’s why Senator Pat Toomey and I introduced bipartisan legislation that will fill an important gap in our current sanctions regime against North Korea by going after the foreign banks and firms that have provided illicit support to Kim Jong Un. It will send a clear and unequivocal message: the economic consequences will be severe for those who continue to do business with North Korea. Our goal is to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. 

Victories for Maryland in Military Construction-VA Appropriations Bill

 As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m working hard to ensure critical priorities for Maryland and our nation have the support they need. This week, I was proud to support the Fiscal Year 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs (VA), and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which includes hundred of millions of dollars for critical housing, infrastructure, and facilities for U.S. military forces and their families, as well as increased funding for veterans’ health care and benefits. Maryland is proud to support so many military installations and to have so many military personnel and veterans call our state home, and I will keep fighting to ensure they have the support they need on and off the battlefield. For a full list of projects funded in this legislation, click here