Rep. Wild ACA Fix to Protect Family Health Care Passes House
WASHINGTON – Just days after the Administration called on the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), U.S. Representative Susan Wild’s (PA-07) Family Health Care Affordability Act passed the House of Representatives as a key component of H.R.1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. Part of the larger ACA stabilization package intended to lower health insurance premiums and the cost of prescription drugs, Wild’s bill strengthens the current health care law and helps expand health care coverage for working families.
Introduced last March, Wild’s stand-alone bill is intended to fix the “Family Glitch” - a loophole that has prevented some workers from being able to expand their employer-provided health coverage to their families while also disqualifying them from the subsidies they need to afford coverage for their spouse and their children.
“No matter which side of the aisle you stand on, we can all agree that we can, and must, do a better job of ensuring that quality, affordable health care is available to every man, woman, and child in this country. But playing politics with the health care of millions of Americans in the middle of a global health emergency and economic recession – like this Administration continues to do – accomplishes the exact opposite,” Wild said. “We have to build on the successes of the ACA, work to lower health care premiums, and expand access to affordable care. My bill does that. It’s a small fix to a big problem for many working families. I’m proud to see my bill pass and strengthen our health care system by strengthening, improving, and stabilizing the ACA.”
Since she began her term in Congress, Wild has actively pushed back against ongoing Administration efforts to dismantle the current health care law and has repeatedly led legislation to make health care more affordable and accessible. With the support of 78 Republicans, Wild’s amendment to stop the skyrocketing cost of health care premiums passed the House last May as part of the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act. Following her work on the House Committee on Education and Labor, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act passed the House at the end of last year.
As a whole, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act would lower health insurance premiums by creating a national reinsurance program to help cover the costs of consumers with expensive medical conditions and provide funds to states to help lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for everyone. Additionally, the legislation offers funding to states to establish their own State-Based Marketplaces, which oftentimes have lower premiums. H.R.1425 also empowers HHS to negotiate lower drug prices and make those prices available to Americans with private health insurance, universally lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
Specifically, the legislation:
- Encourages states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs to do so by renewing the ACA’s original expanded federal match. If all states expanded Medicaid, about 4.8 million more Americans would be eligible for Medicaid, including an estimated 2.3 million people who are uninsured;
- Reverses the Administration’s efforts to give states waivers to undermine pre-existing condition protections and weaken standards for essential health benefits;
- Stops the expansion of junk insurance plans that allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, put consumers at financial risk, and drive up comprehensive insurance costs;
- Restores critical outreach and enrollment funding that has been gutted by the Administration and provides funding for navigators to assist consumers in signing up for health care;
- Combats the maternal mortality epidemic, which continues to particularly impact Black and Native American people, by extending Medicaid or Children‘s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage to new mothers from the current 60 days post-partum to one year;
- Further reduces racial and ethnic health inequities by expanding coverage and premium assistance to more Black and Hispanic Americans; and
- Protects vulnerable populations from losing health coverage by ensuring that Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries receive a full 12 months of coverage once enrolled, protecting them from interruptions due to fluctuations in their income throughout the year.
A one-page summary of H.R.1425 is available HERE.
A section-by-section of H.R.1425 is available HERE.
Text of Rep. Wild’s bill is available HERE.