Health Care

Health Care
House Democrats are committed to expanding access to affordable health care coverage, strengthening protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and lowering prescription drug prices.
House Democrats are committed to expanding access to affordable health care coverage, strengthening protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and lowering prescription drug prices.
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 twenty-six. 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.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the importance of the Affordable Care Act’s reforms became even clearer.  That’s why House Democrats worked to enact legislation right away to ensure that testing, treatment, and vaccinations for COVID-19 would always be covered with no out-of-pocket costs to Americans.  As we learn more about the disturbing racial and income disparities in infection, hospitalization, and fatalities due to COVID-19, it is evident that more needs to be done to ensure that every American has access to high-quality, affordable health care in their communities.  That’s why Democrats are working with President Biden to identify ways to protect, strengthen, and expand the Affordable Care 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. House Democrats will work with President Biden and the Democratic Senate to address the cost of prescription drugs and help Americans afford their medications.
Health Care Related
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined a press call today to discuss the briefs being filed in the Supreme Court by Republicans in support of their lawsuit to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI), Little Lobbyists Executive Director and Co-Founder Elena Hung, and Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach also spoke on today’s call. Below is a transcript of Leader Hoyer’s remarks:
Today, House Democrats unveiled legislation to strengthen and expand the Affordable Care Act, fulfilling a promise made to the American people who entrusted us to use our House Majority to make access to quality health care more affordable. The House will vote on this bill on Monday, June 29.
Ten years ago, Democrats fought hard to reform a deeply broken health care system. Refusing to accept a reality in which tens of millions of Americans had to go without insurance or were routinely dropped from their coverage as soon as they became sick, we enacted major legislation to ensure that quality, affordable health care would be accessible to all Americans, regardless of their income.
Tonight, the President finally did what he should have done weeks ago: take this crisis seriously and address the nation about his Administration's strategy to deal with coronavirus. While he still failed to confront the hard truths of this challenge or answer important questions - including why officials still do not have enough testing kits and how he is going to address that shortage - President Trump at last shared steps he intends to take in the days and weeks ahead. 
This week, House Democrats moved swiftly to pass an $8.3 billion funding bill to ensure federal agencies, states, and localities have the resources necessary to respond to the coronavirus.
Today, I will bring to the House Floor a supplemental appropriations bill that will allocate $8.3 billion to help states, communities, and federal agencies combat the new coronavirus. 
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.