Democrats in the House unveiled legislation, on Wednesday, to expand the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) as President Trump and Republicans continue to oppose any expansion of Obamacare.
According to Democrats the bill, H.R. 1425 or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, they aim to lower healthcare costs, protect patients with preexisting conditions, expand Medicaid and lower prescription drug prices.
The package (pdf) is scheduled for a vote on Monday by the House, which includes Democrats ongoing efforts to expand federal subsidies to make health insurance premiums more affordable and increase federal Medicaid funding.
This legislation establishes a federal fund, called Improve Health Insurance Affordability Fund. States are required to use these funds to “issue reinsurance payments to health insurers for individual health insurance coverage, or provide other assistance to reduce out-of-pocket costs for qualified health plans offered in the individual market.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) contrasted their effort with the Trump administrations effort to have the ACA struck down.
“Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear the brief from the Trump administration as to taking down the Affordable Care Act, right in the heart of the time of the pandemic. It was wrong any time. Now its beyond stupid, beyond stupid,” Pelosi said.
Republicans, for the most part, oppose that legislation, arguing it would impede pharmaceutical innovation and drive up costs. “At a time when we are in the middle of a global pandemic, when our hopes for protecting human life and returning to normalcy rely on drug companies developing vaccines and new treatments for COVID-19, this bill will discourage that process,” said Ranking member of the House Rules Committee, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).
Cole called the bill “a massively expensive and partisan bill designed to expand the Affordable Care Act,” including a “hodgepodge” of various bills, 70 percent of which have not been considered for markup.
“When the Affordable Care Act was passed, states were promised that they would have the option, but not be required, to expand Medicaid and would be assisted financially if they chose to do so. Now, the majoRead More From Source