Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
June 23, 2022
Contact Info: 
Raymond Rodriguez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) joined Protect Our Care for a press call to discuss the urgent need for Congress to prevent the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits from expiring. Below is a transcript of his opening remarks:

“Thank you very much for allowing me to join you and members of Protect Our Care and the great work that you're doing. And [Rep.] Lauren Underwood, who just spoke, has been such a positive force on behalf of bringing the cost of the Affordable Care Act [down] – ‘affordable’ - is one of the key words there is bringing the price down. When Democrats enacted the American Rescue Plan, as you know, we expanded premium tax credits with both expanded eligibility and brought down premiums for those already receiving subsidies. That was critical because ‘affordable’ is a key word in the Affordable Care Act.

“This led, as [Rep.] Lauren [Underwood] pointed out, to a record 14.5 million Americans signing up for Marketplace coverage, though we fought to make these enhanced tax credits permanent. Ultimately, when we passed the Build Back Better [Act] we voted to extend them for five years. Unfortunately, that legislation has been stalled in the United States Senate. When Senators reach an agreement on a path forward on a reconciliation bill, extending these enhanced premium tax credits must be included. Though they expire at the end of the calendar year, I believe that we must take action soon in order to provide certainty to both insurers and beneficiaries. Insurers, as you know, they are submitting their 2023 premiums cost now. In Maryland, they were submitted as long ago as May. Insurers are setting these rates, assuming Congress will act and that rates will go up. We need to pass the extension in law now so that insurers have time to revisit their 2023 premiums.

“I joined with Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn just a week ago calling for action on these premium tax credits. We did an op-ed in The Hill newspaper, and I urged the Senate to take action. We must not miss this chance to continue these important policies that are providing affordable, accessible health coverage and bringing down the cost of health care for so many. We have Senators and House Members in America concerned about inflation. Inflation is causing great shock at the pump and in the grocery store. We must not let the cost of health care go up as well when we have the power to stop that from happening. So while we may not be able to control some things in inflation, this is one we can control.

“So, I urge my friends in the United States Senate [to act] and I know Representative Underwood does as well. She has brought such an energy and focus to this issue. I know that we both - and I know Protect Our Care does as well - urges the Senate to act. When they do, if they do, we will act very, very swiftly. I want to thank Representative Underwood and all of you for your leadership, and I want to thank Protect Our Care for helping us to push Congress towards action. Waiting is not acceptable. Allowing these costs to go up is not acceptable, in an era of inflation when we can act and do something substantive for the people – we ought to do it. So I'm pleased to yield back my time and urge us all to continue our activity and our advocacy until such time as we extend these premium subsidies, these reductions in cost for health care coverage for all Americans. Thank you very much.”