Issue Report ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
May 21, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Last November, House Democrats pledged to the American people that lowering health care and prescription drug costs would be a top priority. Five months into the Majority, House Democrats are making good on that pledge. On the Floor, in Committee, and in the courts, House Democrats are defending the Affordable Care Act; working to protect and expand affordable, quality health coverage; and working to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

HEARINGS
  • House Democrats have held over 35 hearings to address health care and prescription drug costs, including holding hearings on:
    • the Trump Administratin’s efforts to sabotage the ACA;
    • the skyrcketing cost of prescription drugs, including insulin;
    • surprise medical billing;
    • the pioid crisis; and
    • the maternal mrtality crisis and maternal health care. 
LEGISLATION
  • Defending the ACA in Court: On the first day of the 116th Congress, House Democrats voted to authorize the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the entire ACA, including its protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.
  • Voting to Condemn the Administration’s Health Care Sabotage: House Democrats passed a resolution on April 3 to condemn the Trump Administration’s efforts to sabotage the ACA. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Colin Allred (TX-32), expressed the sense of the House that the Administration’s sabotage of the ACA is being taken with “total disregard for the lives of millions of Americans.”
  • Passing H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act: House Democrats passed H.R. 986 on May 9 to protect coverage for 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The bill, introduced by Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), revokes the Trump Administration’s guidance on Section 1332 of the ACA, which encourages states to allow junk insurance plans that do not provide Americans with the coverage they need.
  • Passing H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act: House Democrats passed a package of seven bills on May 16. The legislation included four bills that strengthen access to affordable, quality health care by protecting patients with pre-existing conditions and funding outreach and enrollment efforts to help Americans sign up for coverage. H.R.987 also includes three bills that aim to lower the cost of prescription drugs by bringing generic drugs to market more quickly.
  • Passing Bipartisan Bills to Lower Prescription Drug Costs: The House passed two bipartisan bills addressing prescription drug costs on May 9. H.R. 1520, the Purple Book Continuity Act, and H.R. 1503, the Orange Book Transparency Act, amend what information must be included in the Orange and Purple Books at the FDA, which generics and biosimilars manufacturers use when they are considering where to invest their research and development dollars. The Ways and Means Committee has also advanced legislation to increase drug transparency.
OVERSIGHT
  • Conducting Oversight of the Administration’s Health Care Decisions: House Democrats are seeking information from the Trump Administration to hold it accountable for taking away coverage and increasing costs, including:
    • Demanding the Trump Administratin produce documents related to its decision to not defend the ACA in the Texas v. United States lawsuit.
    • Requesting infrmation on the decision to expand “junk plans” that do not offer the coverage Americans need and that raise the cost of insurance.
    • Investigating the Administratin’s Title X rule restricting women’s access to care and instituting a gag rule on health care providers.
    • Requesting detailed infrmation on the Trump Administration’s spending of user fees generated by the ACA to determine if those funds were misused.
    • Loking into whether the CMS administrator illegally used tax dollars for her own benefit.
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