Casten Votes to Strengthen and Expand the Affordable Care Act
Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, legislation to build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to lower health care costs and prescription drug prices.
Last week, the Trump Administration filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entirety of the ACA. If the Trump Administration succeeds in striking down the ACA, 23 million Americans could lose health insurance coverage. According to the Center for American Progress, 736,000 people in Illinois would lose coverage and 5.4 million people in Illinois with preexisting conditions could face higher premiums, benefit exclusions, or be denied coverage altogether if they ever needed to turn to the individual market for coverage.
Casten said, “In the middle of a pandemic that’s killed 125,000 Americans, infected over 2.5 million, and left tens of millions of people without jobs and uninsured, access to affordable care is essential. Protecting our families, our communities, and our economy requires that we build on the progress of the Affordable Care Act to lower health costs and prescription drug prices, not rip away Americans’ health care in the middle of a pandemic. I was proud to vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. I’m committed to working with my colleagues to strengthen healthcare and push back against the administration’s continued attempts to sabotage healthcare for millions across the country.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act significantly increases the ACA’s affordability subsidies and covers more middle-class families. For the first time, no person will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a benchmark silver plan in the ACA marketplaces, and many Americans will see their premiums cut in half or more:
- A family of four earning $40,000 would save nearly $1,600 in premiums each year.
- A 64-year-old earning $57,420 would save more than $8,700 in premiums each year.
- A single adult with income of $31,900 would see premiums cut in half.
- An adult earning $19,140 would see premiums cut to zero, saving $800 dollars a year.
The bill requires that Medicare negotiate for lower prescription drug prices, delivering the power to lower drug prices so that Americans no longer have to pay more for our medicines than others pay for the same drugs overseas.
The bill expands coverage, pressing Medicaid expansion hold-out states with new carrots and sticks to adopt coverage for the 4.8 million Americans cruelly excluded from coverage. It also restores the outreach and advertising funding that the Trump Administration slashed, limiting communications to Americans about the affordable health coverage available to them under the ACA.
The bill combats inequity in health coverage faced by communities of color, expanding more affordable coverage to vulnerable populations and fighting the maternal mortality epidemic by requiring states to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to new mothers for a full year post-partum.
The bill cracks down on junk plans and strengthens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, reversing the Trump Administration’s expansion of junk health insurance plans that do not provide coverage for essential medical treatments and drugs, and that are allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions.
A fact sheet on the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act is available here.
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