As Washington Republicans Again Advocate for Full Repeal of ACA, Bustos and House Democrats Introduce Legislation to Bring Down Health Care Cost for American Families

BREAKING: Trump Administration Argues in Court to Strike Down Entire Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) joined House Democrats to introduce the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019. Having worked in health care administration for a decade, this bill continues Congresswoman Bustos’ tireless efforts to make health care affordable and accessible for all Illinoisans. The introduction of this legislation comes just as the White House announced their intent to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety – including patient protections for pre-existing conditions, assistance for seniors with high drug costs, the ban on lifetime limits, bipartisan Medicaid expansion and the ability of individuals to stay on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26. Additionally, an estimated 20 million Americans would lose care if Washington Republicans win their lawsuit to strike down the ACA.

“I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce legislation to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and bring down the cost of health care for families,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Our bill would lower premiums, protect consumers, hold big insurance companies accountable and take critical steps to reverse the administration’s sabotage of our health care system. At the same time, I’m disturbed by Washington Republicans’ renewed attempts to strike down coverage for folks with pre-existing conditions and repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. The American people elected us to bring down the cost of care – but the White House and Washington Republicans seem intent on letting costs spiral out of control. House Democrats won’t let that happen on our watch.”

BACKGROUND

Congresswoman Bustos has repeatedly advocated to improve the ACA with commonsense reforms to bring down the cost of care for families. In the 115th Congress, she was outspoken against Washington Republicans’ efforts to repeal the ACA and gut protections for pre-existing conditions. On the first day of the 116th Congress, Congresswoman Bustos joined House Democrats to vote to throw the full legal weight of the House of Representatives against the dangerous Texas v. U.S. lawsuit. As a result of that vote, the House Counsel has been able to intervene as a party in the lawsuit to argue on behalf of the health care of the American people.

While Washington Republicans advocate for full repeal of the ACA, Congresswoman Bustos and House Democrats are proposing the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act – which would take several steps to bring costs down and protect patients, including:

  1. LOWERING PREMIUMS. The Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act expands tax credits that make health care more affordable to more middle-income families and makes the tax credits more substantial for those who already qualify.
  2. STRENGTHENING CONSUMER PROTECTIONS. This legislation curtails the White House’s efforts to give states waivers to undermine patient protections for folks with pre-existing conditions and weaken standards for essential health benefits, which would leave families with less comprehensive health care plans that do not cover critical services like prescription drugs, maternity care and emergency services.
  3. HOLDING BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE. The Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act stops the White House’s efforts to push Americans into junk insurance plans that refuse to cover essential medical treatments and prescription drugs and are allowed to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions like cancer, asthma and diabetes.
  4. REVERSING ACA SABOTAGE. This legislation restores outreach and enrollment assistance funding to sign Americans up for health coverage, puts new accountability requirements on the White House and empowers states to innovate and invest in enrolling more people in affordable health coverage.

###