Delegate Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands)
Specialty: Family practice
Active license: No
Medical degree: M.D., George Washington University, 1970
Key healthcare votes: Delegates are nonvoting members of Congress
(Answers provided in an interview)
How does being a physician affect your approach to Congress
“It helps to bring the physician perspective, which has not always been there in my 16 years so far. Now, we have more doctors. But many times, policy was developed without physician input and a lot of times seemed relatively punitive.”
What happens now with the ACA?
“I think as most people think, the election made a big difference. States, governors, others who thought of holding back and hoped it would be repealed are now moving forward. I think more states are considering exchanges than were in the past, but there are still a number of states that have decided against it. The other issue is what’s going to happen with Medicaid. I think those are two major hurdles to get through, especially encouraging states to accept the Medicaid expansion.”
What’s a healthcare priority the ACA didn’t address?
“We could never get CBO to score prevention, and I strongly believe there is a lot of savings in the prevention provisions in the Affordable Care Act. (Rep.) Michael Burgess and I have legislation that the chair of the Budget Committee could direct CBO to look at the prevention beyond the normal 10-year cycle and score it.”