[Congressional Record Volume 169, Number 78 (Tuesday, May 9, 2023)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E407]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. EARL BLUMENAUER

                               of oregon

                    in the house of representatives

                          Tuesday, May 9, 2023

  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to introduce the 
Travel for Care Act.
  On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court upended decades of precedent set 
by overturning Roe v. Wade. In the months since, we've seen the 
horrific effects of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization 
decision including an increase in states implementing abortion bans. As 
a result, a third of women of reproductive age in the United States now 
live more than an hour from the closest abortion facility and the 
average travel time to get an abortion has more than tripled.
  After the Dobbs decision, President Biden signed an executive order 
to preserve abortion access, which included protecting people's ability 
to travel. Additionally, the House of Representatives passed the 
Ensuring Access to Abortion Act which prohibited states from 
interfering with people traveling for an abortion. Several major 
Fortune 500 corporations announced or reiterated that they would offer 
reimbursement for employees who needed to travel to receive abortion 
  The unfortunate reality is that far too many Americans are now 
dependent on their health plan and employer benefits to access care 
that they deserve to have. The Travel for Care Act would remove 
additional barriers to implement or within these benefits by ensuring 
that any reimbursement is not taxable income, raising the dollar limit 
for related costs like meals and lodging, and allowing employees 
covered by high deductible health plan to access this reimbursement 
without having met their deductible.
  It's egregious that employers have stepped in where the federal 
government hasn't. Nobody should be forced to leave their state to seek 
medical care, but in a world where that's the case, they shouldn't face 
additional financial barriers. I will continue working to ensure that 
we are increasing access to abortion care in every way possible and I 
urge my colleagues to do the same.