Doyle Votes for Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-18) announced that today he voted in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, legislation that would build on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 by lowering the costs of health care and prescription drugs, expanding health insurance coverage to millions of currently uninsured Americans, and strengthening insurance protections like the ACA’s ban on discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. The House approved the bill by a vote of 234 to 179. Today’s vote comes just days after the Trump Administration filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entire ACA.
“For more than ten years, Democrats have been working to ensure that all Americans can get the high-quality health care they need at prices they can afford – and every step of the way, Republicans have been fighting against it.
The result is that Republicans nearly killed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010 – and that since its enactment, they have tried repeatedly to kill it in court, repeal it completely, chip away at provisions like its protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, undermine it with “junk insurance plans,” and cut funding for important ACA programs.
Democrats have been successful in limiting damage to the Affordable Care Act from Republicans’ many efforts to sabotage it, take health insurance away from 20 million Americans, and undermine the landmark protections that the ACA provided Americans from the abusive practices that private insurance companies used to routinely employ before the bill’s enactment.
“Now we have a chance to build on the successes of the ACA and improve it. That’s why I cosponsored the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act – and why voted for it when it was considered and approved by the House today.
“If enacted, this landmark legislation would reduce health insurance premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses for millions of Americans, lower the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans, encourage states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover more vulnerable low-income households, preserve the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting conditions, and reduce maternal mortality among minority women.
“The Senate should approve the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act quickly in order to lower health care costs for millions of Americans as rapidly as possible.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act would lower health insurance premiums by expanding eligibility for premium tax credits to benefit more middle-class households and increasing the existing tax credits for all income brackets. It would also assist states in reducing deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for their residents, and it would offer incentives for states to establish their own state-based marketplaces with lower premiums. Finally, it would create a national reinsurance program to cover the costs of patients with expensive medical conditions. No would have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a benchmark silver plan in the ACA marketplaces, and many Americans would see their premiums cut in half or more:
- A family of four earning $40,000 would save nearly $1,600 in premiums each year.
- A 64-year-old earning $57,420 would save more than $8,700 in premiums each year.
- A single adult with income of $31,900 would see premiums cut in half.
- An adult earning $19,140 would see premiums cut to zero, saving $800 dollars a year.
This legislation would reduce prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices and making those prices available to all Americans with private health insurance. It would prevent drug companies from charging American consumers more than consumers in other countries pay for the same drugs.
In addition, this legislation would encourage states to expand their Medicaid programs (to cover up to another 4.8 million Americans who are currently uninsured), reverse the Trump Administration’s efforts to allow states to undermine ACA protections for pre-existing conditions, stop health insurance companies from offering junk insurance plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and put consumers at financial risk, and reverse the Trump Administration's funding cuts for outreach and support to make sure Americans are aware of their options for coverage.
Finally, this legislation would work to reduce the rate of maternal mortality among minority women by extending Medicaid and CHIP coverage for new mothers from the current 60 days to a full year. It would also protect low-income Americans from losing their health insurance due to inconsistent income by extending Medicaid and CHIP coverage for a full 12 months once someone is enrolled.
Click here for more information about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act.