One Year Stronger: Neal on Expanded Access to Affordable Health Coverage

Feb 23, 2022
Press Release
The American Rescue Plan passed the House of Representatives on February 27, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Ahead of the first anniversary of the House of Representatives’ passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) reflected on how the Committee’s contributions helped millions of Americans secure health care coverage during the pandemic. Ways and Means Democrats spearheaded provisions that expanded premium tax credits for low- and middle-income families, subsidized COBRA coverage to keep newly unemployed workers on their employer-based health insurance coverage, and ensured that those newly unemployed workers without previous employer health coverage could access affordable tax credits for health insurance in the marketplace. 

“Ways and Means Committee Democrats fought hard to ensure that lack of health coverage would not be among the many challenges facing Americans during the pandemic,” said Chairman Neal. “The American Rescue Plan made health coverage more affordable and accessible than ever before and brought our country one step closer to delivering high-quality health coverage for all. Premiums dropped, on average, by $67 per month, saving families over $800 annually. As evidenced by the record high enrollments under the Affordable Care Act, these savings were the lifeline that Americans needed. As we keep building back better, we will use this momentum to continue strengthening the ACA and make coverage even more affordable and accessible.” 

During President Biden’s Special Enrollment Period, 2.8 million Americans signed up for health coverage and over 90 percent of these new enrollees benefitted from the Ways and Means Committee’s premium tax credits. 

In the House-passed Build Back Better Act, Ways and Means Democrats extended the ARP’s premium tax credit enhancements and ACA subsidies for recipients of unemployment benefits.