Chairman Neal Floor Remarks on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act

Jun 29, 2020
Press Release
(As prepared for delivery)
 
M. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I am proud to have joined with the Speaker and other Committee Chairs to introduce the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Enhancement Act and welcome the measure’s consideration in the House today.
 
For years, House Democrats have worked to expand access to affordable health care and to build on the coverage gains of the Affordable Care Act. The COVID-19 crisis only adds urgency to an already pressing problem for millions of American families. A problem that has been consistently exacerbated by the Trump Administration’s relentless crusade to dismantle Americans’ health care.
 
Just last week, under the cover of night and while many Americans were likely sleeping, the Trump Administration took another step towards invalidating our health care laws. They filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of undoing the ACA and ending protections for nearly 130 million people with pre-existing conditions.  And they staked out this position during a pandemic when millions of Americans need health care more than ever.
 
In our new Patient Protection & Affordable Care Enhancement Act, we expand tax credits to lower premium costs for consumers. For the first time in the history of the ACA, no one will pay more than 8.5 percent of their income on a silver plan through the Marketplace.
 
I’ll quickly share a few other scenarios where people will see savings:
• A family of four earning $40,000 would save nearly $1,600 in premiums each year;
• An adult earning about $19,000 would see premiums cut to zero, saving $800 dollars a year;
• And a 64-year-old earning $57,400 would save more than $8,700 in premiums each year.
 
These are significant savings that would make a big difference for Americans – particularly during the current health and economic crisis. I thank Representative Underwood for her tireless work on this provision and advocating for the millions of Americans who will see their premium costs go down. 
 
I also want to thank Representative Wild for leading the effort to remove a long-standing barrier for families without an offer of affordable family coverage, as well as Representative Neguse for his work on behalf of Social Security beneficiaries who were at risk of losing premium tax credits for the time when they were covered by the ACA Marketplace.
 
These tax credits aren’t the only benefits consumers can expect under this important legislation. We also slash prescription drug costs, reduce consumers’ deductibles, encourage more states to expand Medicaid and establish their own ACA Marketplace, and put an end to the expansion of ‘junk’ insurance plans.
 
And notably, this bill reduces the number of uninsured Americans by 4 million.
 
These are the issues that matter to Americans – perhaps now more than ever.  Ensuring all Americans can access quality health care without risking their family’s financial security should not be a partisan issue. 
 
After almost 70 votes on Republican bills to repeal or undermine the ACA, I am proud stand on the House floor in support of legislation that builds on the gains of the ACA; for legislation that increases access to affordable quality health care; for legislation that is for the people.
 
With that, I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this timely legislation and I reserve the balance of my time.
 
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