Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)
June 29, 2020
WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, legislation to shore up the Affordable Care Act (ACA), make available plans more affordable, and strengthen protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
Following the bill’s passage, O’Halleran issued the following statement:
“Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the rise throughout Arizona, and in many other states. Now is not the time for this administration to attempt to roll back health care protections for 20 million Americans. I will not sit idly by and allow Arizona families to have the care they were promised stripped away as our nation struggles to get this pandemic under control. I voted in favor of this important bill to protect the countless people living with pre-existing conditions, lower prescription drug costs, and safeguard care for Arizona children on CHIP.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act:
- makes health care and prescription drugs more affordable by empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and makes those prices available to Americans with private health insurance as well;
- expands eligibility for premium tax credits beyond 400 percent of the federal poverty line and increases the size of tax credits for all income brackets;
- makes sure no individual will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a benchmark silver plan in the ACA marketplaces, cutting premiums for many Americans in half;
- encourages states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs to do so by renewing the ACA’s original expanded federal match;
- If all states expanded Medicaid, about 4.8 million more Americans would be eligible for Medicaid, including an estimated 2.3 million people who are uninsured.
- protects vulnerable populations from losing health coverage by ensuring that Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries receive a full 12 months of coverage once enrolled, protecting them from interruptions due to fluctuations in their income throughout the year;
- and stops the expansion of junk insurance plans that allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.