Underwood Introduces Legislation to Make Health Care More Affordable, Reduce Premium Costs

March 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON –Congresswoman Lauren Underwood today introduced legislation along with original cosponsors Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) and Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) that would improve affordability by reducing premium costs for consumers who purchase plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Health Care Affordability Act (H.R. 1868) would expand eligibility for premium tax credits beyond 400 percent of the federal poverty line, and would increase the size of the tax credit for all income brackets. The legislation will build upon the Protecting preexisting Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019, legislation introduced today that will stabilize the Affordable Care Act.

“Every person in this country deserves access to health care. But quality, affordable care is out-of-reach for too many American families who can’t keep up with skyrocketing costs. This legislation will limit premium costs to make people’s current coverage more affordable, and bring affordable insurance within reach of millions more Americans,” said Underwood.

“Today’s skyrocketing health care costs are forcing millions of working families to make painful financial and medical trade-offs. This is unacceptable and morally wrong. That is why I am proud to join my colleagues today to introduce the Health Care Affordability Act, legislation that lowers out-of-pocket costs for working families and puts us on a path towards affordable universal coverage for all Americans,” Gomez said.

“Arizona families, especially in rural and tribal communities, have been some of the hardest hit by high costs and instability in our health insurance marketplace in recent years. Congress must address this by finding market-oriented solution that brings down costs for all Americans and increases marketplace stability, and this important legislation is an important step. I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce the Health Care Affordability Act to lower out-of-pocket costs that families are paying every year for their health insurance premiums,” said O’Halleran.

In February, Underwood introduced legislation that would help protect Americans with preexisting conditions by overturning an Administration rule that expands limited duration insurance, commonly known as “junk plans.” The legislation 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 like maternity care, prescription drugs, and hospitalization that the Affordable Care Act requires. Underwood is on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions subcommittee of the Education and Labor Committee.  

A one-pager of this legislation can be found here: Health Care Affordability Act.