Bracketing her remarks with anecdotes drawn from personal experience, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro gave an impassioned defense of continued federal funding for biomedical research, even as Congress looks to balance the budget by cutting spending.
Speaking at the October Medical Student Council Perspectives on Medicine series, DeLauro told the packed audience that in 1991 she was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer. “Because of the grace of God and biomedical research, my life was given back to me,” she said. Since then, the 10-term congresswoman has been a progressive voice for health policy reform.
DeLauro said one of the proudest moments of her career was March 23, 2010, the day President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. “It has the ability to transform people’s lives,” she said. Noting that some lawmakers want to repeal it to reduce the deficit, she said, “I will fight that as hard as I can, with every fiber I have. It is not a slush fund to deal with the deficit.”