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Mar 21, 2018

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY): Health Care Advocate, Champion of Counseling for Veterans

“We are saddened by the sudden death of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter,” American Counseling Association CEO Richard Yep said.

"She was an advocate for health-care reform and a champion for mental health counseling for veterans. She represented the Rochester area for 32 years, but her work benefitted people everywhere. The daughter of a blacksmith, she became a microbiologist and then a Member of Congress. She was an inspiration for many.”

As chair of the powerful House Rules Committee during consideration of the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Slaughter set the stage for the bill’s passage. Prior to its implementation, 38 percent of individual insurance plans did not provide mental health coverage, and insurance coverage could be denied for preexisting conditions. The Affordable Care Act addressed those problems.

Rep. Slaughter also introduced legislation that protected confidentiality for women veterans who received counseling after sexual assaults. She spoke out against so-called “conscience legislation” that would allow health-care workers to discriminate against patients.

Rep. Slaughter worked for six years for passage of the STOCK Act, legislation that prevents Members of Congress and federal officials from using insider information in trading on the stock market. She was instrumental in the passage of the Violence Against Women Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and pushed for safer food supplies.

“Louise Slaughter was tough, unfailingly gracious, and unrelenting in fighting for her ideas. She was simply great,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a March 16 tweet.

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