Underwood Celebrates the Passage of Her Legislation to Reduce Health Care Premiums

June 29, 2020
Press Release
Underwood’s legislation passed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act

Underwood’s legislation, the Health Care Affordability Act, would reduce insurance premiums for approximately 20 million Americans by increasing premium tax credits and making them available to more middle-income Americans

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) celebrated the passage of her legislation to lower health insurance premium costs as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act would make health care more affordable by expanding advanced premium tax credits, banning junk insurance plans, and lowering prescription drug costs.

“Illinois families have struggled to afford their health care for decades, which has kept people from accessing the coverage they need and deserve. It is unacceptable in the United States of America—we have to do better. So, since I stepped foot in the Capitol, I’ve been fighting every day to bring down health care costs. That work has become even more urgent as many of our neighbors have lost their jobs, and with it, their employer-sponsored insurance,” Rep. Underwood said. “I am beaming with pride that my colleagues joined me in the fight to act boldly for families across this country and passed my legislation today.”

Underwood’s remarks on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act can be found here.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, residents of Illinois’ 14th Congressional District would be able to buy a Marketplace health plan for 8.5% of their income or less, which would reduce premium costs by hundreds or thousands of dollars for the typical consumer who buys their own insurance. For example:

  • A 60-year-old couple with a household income of $68,000 per year would save over $1,700 per month on their health insurance premiums.
  • A family of four with a household income of $105,000 per year would save over $1,400 per month on their health insurance premiums.

In Congress, Underwood has championed legislation to strengthen our health care system by reducing costs and protecting Americans with preexisting conditions. In March 2019, Underwood introduced the Health Care Affordability Act to lower premiums for consumers who purchase plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Health Care Affordability Act (H.R. 1868) would expand tax credits to people who don’t currently qualify for them because their income is higher than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and would increase the size of the tax credit for all income brackets. In May 2019, legislation Underwood introduced to help protect Americans with preexisting conditions passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation, H.R. 1010, would overturn an Administration rule that expands short-term, limited-duration insurance, commonly known as “junk plans.” The bill followed action by the Administration that finalized a rule expanding short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans that do not have to offer patient protections like coverage for preexisting conditions or essential health benefits that the ACA requires. Underwood has also introduced two bills (H.R. 4457, the Chronic Condition Copay Elimination Act, and H.R. 5575, the Primary and Behavioral Health Care Access Act) to reduce cost barriers to accessing primary and mental health care, substance use disorder treatments, and life-saving medications for conditions like diabetes and asthma (H.R. 5575, H.R. 4457)