Health Care

Democrats are taking action to lower health care costs, bring down prescription drug prices, and fight back against Republican sabotage of the Affordable Care Act.
House Democrats have taken action to strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions, lower prescription drug prices, and fight against Republican efforts to take away health coverage and raise costs for millions of Americans.
The Affordable Care Act – enacted by President Obama and Congressional Democrats in 2010 – has put American families in control of their own health care and ended a system that put profits ahead of patients with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Since its enactment, 20 million more Americans have gained access to quality, affordable health coverage. Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be discriminated against by insurance companies. Parents can now keep their children on their insurance plans up to age 26. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to put annual or lifetime limits on coverage or drop people when they get sick. And, thanks to the law, Medicare costs – from premiums and deductibles to overall program spending – have slowed to well below the levels projected before the law passed.
Despite the progress made under the ACA, President Trump and Congressional Republicans worked for years to repeal the law. After failing to do so, they have sought to eliminate the law through the courts. On day one of the Democratic-led 116th Congress, House Democrats voted to authorize the House Counsel to intervene in the Republican lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the law, including its protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. A few months later, House Democrats voted on a resolution to condemn the Trump Administration’s efforts to sabotage the ACA. In addition, ten bills have been passed to protect and expand access to coverage and address the cost of prescription drugs by bringing generic drugs to market more quickly and amending information provided by the FDA.
In December 2019, the House passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Too many Americans can’t afford their prescription drugs, and are forced to choose between medicines they need and paying rent or putting food on the table. This bill will give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies, which will help bring drug prices down. It will make those lower drug prices available to Americans with private insurance as well. It will also create a new out-of-pocket limit of $2,000 for prescription drug costs for those on Medicare Part-D.  The Lower Drug Costs Now Act saves American taxpayers approximately half a trillion dollars over the next ten years; the bill reinvests those savings to expand Medicare benefits to cover dental, vision, and hearing services; invest in new research, treatments, and cures; and combat the opioid crisis.
House committees have also held numerous health care-related hearings, including hearings to examine the Trump Administration’s efforts to sabotage the ACA, the cost of prescription drugs like insulin, the opioid crisis, maternal health, and surprise billing. House Democrats will continue to work through the committees to bring additional legislation to the Floor later in the year.
Democrats will continue to urge Republicans to work with us to improve health care access and affordability and to strengthen the ACA and ensure all Americans can access affordable health coverage.
Health Care Related
Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced it will hear the Texas v. United States case, a partisan lawsuit led by the Trump Administration and Republicans to strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, including protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. After failing previously to undo the law in the courts and repeal the law when they controlled all levers of government, President Trump and the GOP are continuing their assault on Americans’ health coverage with this lawsuit. If successful, here’s a look at what would be at stake for hundreds of millions of Americans:
Republicans have been trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act since day one. They failed to overturn it in court in 2012 and they failed to repeal it in Congress in 2017, even though they controlled every part of government.
This week, the House passed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which will explicitly designate lynching as a federal hate crime for the first time in history.
Senate Republicans’ decision to hold votes on measures designed to limit women’s access to reproductive health care is outrageous, particularly given the backlog of important House-passed bills awaiting Senate action.
The reviews of the President’s budget are in, and they are not kind. They point out the unrealistic economic growth assumptions, the massive deficits and debt, and his broken promise to protect programs like Medicare. Check it out:

From Politico:

“President Donald Trump sent another fantasy budget to Congress on Monday, thumbing his nose at the very spending levels he signed into law last summer.”

President Trump’s budget released yesterday clearly outlines his priorities: the wealthiest Americans come first, while working families are left behind. After he promised to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and access to affordable health care, the President’s budget proposes destructive cuts to these programs and continues this Administration’s assault on American’s health care. With the budget revealing even more of the President’s hypocrisy, we know you are dying to see how far the GOP will go to defend him. Don’t worry, we’ve got some questions already prepared for you:
    Yesterday, the President released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 and made his priorities clear: he continues to put the wealthiest Americans first at the expense of working families. The budget proposal makes tax cuts for the wealthy permanent while breaking his promises to working families on health care, the economy, and other areas that help Americans get ahead and keep them safe.
    The budget released by the Trump administration Monday relies on a set of false assumptions about our economy, reflecting the distorted vision laid out in last week’s State of the Union address. In that speech, President Trump lied again and again about his record on the economy. It is critical that Americans know the facts.
    This evening, President Trump had an opportunity to show the American people and the Congress that he takes seriously the challenges we face as a nation and his responsibility as president to rally the country together to meet them.  Instead, he doubled-down on the rank partisanship and divisiveness that have characterized his presidency, using his address to attack those who disagree with him and to take credit for the successes of the prior Administration while misleading on his own record...
    The President campaigned on numerous promises to the American people, and four years into his presidency, he is letting the American people down on pledge after pledge. Ahead of tonight’s State of the Union Address, here’s a look at what the President promised he would deliver to the American people and how he has fallen short with policies that put the wealthiest ahead of working families:
    Tonight, President Trump will address the state of our union, and Democrats will be highlighting the dismal state of his record on health care. Joining many of us as our guests tonight are Americans whose lives and health have been affected negatively by this President’s policies and heroes working in our communities to help those needing access to better care.
    On Thursday, the House will consider a resolution to disapprove of President Trump’s proposed cuts to Medicaid services through his new illegal block-grant scheme.
    As a candidate, President Trump promised the American people that he would not seek cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  With today’s announcement, he’s broken that promise yet again.  Fundamentally changing Medicaid by allowing states to take away health coverage and cut health benefits will force low-income Americans, seniors, rural communities, those with disabilities, low income pregnant women facing staggering maternal mortality rates, and Americans seeking treatment for opioid addiction to pay the price. 
    I am disappointed by today’s decision by a federal appeals court to invalidate a key component of the Affordable Care Act and send the case back to a lower court.  This will only cause further uncertainty for patients, consumers, and providers.  This case was brought by Republicans and supported by the Trump Administration, and it seeks to invalidate the law in its entirety – even the most popular provisions, such as protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions and eliminating annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
    Next week, the House of Representatives will pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
    Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means completed its markup of H.R. 3, House Democrats’ legislation to lower prescription drug prices. 
    Today, House Democrats took a step forward in our effort to lower prescription drug costs for the American people as the Energy and Commerce and the Education and Labor Committees marked up H.R. 3, and the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on it.
    Today’s initial estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms that House Democrats’ bill to lower prescription drug costs, H.R. 3, will produce dramatic savings on prescription drug costs. 
    President Trump’s announcement today is nothing more than a thinly veiled effort to disguise his Administration’s dismal record on health care and protecting seniors.
    When Democrats enacted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, we included an excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans based on economists’ view that it would bend the cost curve downward and achieve savings for consumers by discouraging unnecessary overspending on care. 
    I am pleased that the House was able once more to come together today and pass a bipartisan bill to reauthorize critical intelligence programs that keep our country safe. 
    Today, a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in a case that will have tremendous impact on millions of American families. 
    The Trump Administration’s gag rule prohibiting health care providers from recommending the full range of health care options to women must be stopped. 
    This week, the House began consideration of appropriations legislation to fund the government. We began with a package of four funding bills: Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; Defense; State & Foreign Operations; and Energy and Water Development.