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Congressional Black Caucus Commemorates the 9th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

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Washington, March 23, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, marks the ninth anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Despite President Trump’s constant attempts to undermine the ACA and strip American with pre-existing conditions of their protections, the CBC remains vigilant in its commitment to helping communities across the nation gain access to quality and affordable care. Congresswoman Karen Bass, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), issued the following statement commemorating the ninth anniversary of the ACA:

“Since its passage, the Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans gain access to life-saving care and improved affordability for Americans who already had healthcare,” said Chairwoman Bass. “Although President Trump has continued his reckless attacks on our nation’s health care system, the Black Caucus has been steadfast in blocking the Trump Administration and Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“After the opening of the Marketplace in 2013, the number of uninsured African Americans has significantly decreased. Many Black families who previously had coverage are also benefiting from the ACA’s most popular provisions. Now, young adults can remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and insurers cannot deny, drop or charge more for coverage due to a pre-existing condition. 

“The CBC played an instrumental role in ensuring the ACA addressed health disparities and made access to preventative care a reality. These provisions particularly helped Black women, who often delayed or went without care because they could not afford to see a doctor. 

“As we celebrate this anniversary, the Black Caucus will redouble our efforts to ensure that every American has access to quality and affordable healthcare.”

 

Background:

On January 3, 2019, the House of Representatives voted to authorize the House Counsel to intervene as a party in the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit, moving swiftly after a federal district court judge ruled in favor of Republicans, issuing a stayed decision in December that would strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, including:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions;
  • The ban on lifetime and annual limits on health coverage;
  • The Medicaid expansion covering 15 million Americans;
  • Health insurance affordability tax credits assisting 9 million Americans;
  • Bans on discriminatory insurance practices that force women to pay more for coverage;
  • Young adults’ ability to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and more.

On February 14, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the House’s motion to intervene against the Administration on behalf of Americans’ health care.

House Democrats are also already moving forward on several bills to protect Americans from junk plans, strengthen protections for pre-existing conditions, reverse the Republican sabotage that has increased the number of uninsured Americans and driven up premiums, and reduce prescription drug prices. The legislation includes provisions:

  • Rescinding the Trump Administration’s rule promoting junk insurance plans, which discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and do not cover many essential benefits.  This damaging rule would lead to substantially higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Restoring the Trump Administration’s 90 percent cut in funding for outreach and enrollment efforts – efforts that are proven to improve the risk pool and reduce premiums for all enrollees.
  • Restoring the Trump Administration’s 84 percent cut in funding for Navigators, who help families and communities with unique needs gain access to affordable health care, such as low-income families and families with low health insurance literacy.
  • Providing funding to states to help pay for health care costs for people with pre-existing conditions, thereby keeping overall premiums lower.
  • Providing funding to states to set up their own marketplaces.  This will empower states to expand coverage, lower costs, and combat the Trump Administration’s sabotage.
  • Lowering the costs of prescription drugs, including by facilitating greater competition from generic and biosimilar manufacturers and closing the loopholes that some brand-name drug companies are exploiting to game the system.
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