Underwood in Minooka on Health Care Affordability: People in Our Community Are Struggling to Afford Their Premiums, That is Unacceptable

June 15, 2019
Press Release
Underwood has introduced the Health Care Affordability Act to make health care more affordable, reduce premium costs for 20 million Americans, 39,000 Illinois 14th residents

MINOOKA—In a press conference today on health care affordability, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) discussed her plan to make health care more affordable and reduce premium costs for approximately 20 million Americans. Kaylee Heap, a mother from Minooka who runs Heap’s Giant Pumpkin Farm with her husband, shared how her family has been affected by the high cost of health care.

“From day one, I have heard from members of our community who struggle to afford their premiums. The people who are hit hardest are self-employed farmers, realtors, entrepreneurs; or they work for employers who don’t provide health insurance. That is unacceptable. And it’s why I have introduced the Health Care Affordability Act to reduce premiums for middle-income and low-income consumers.  This would make premiums for people who buy their own insurance more similar to insurance costs for people with employer coverage,” Congresswoman Underwood said at the press conference. “Thanks to Mrs. Kaylee Heap, who graciously invited us to her family’s pumpkin farm to share her story about the challenges she and her husband Kevin face to afford health insurance for themselves and their baby son, Milo,” she continued.

It would be really nice to be able to have the opportunity to come home and work on the farm with my husband and grow our business. But I can’t do that until we overcome the obstacle of getting quality, affordable accessible health insurance,” said Kaylee Heap.

Underwood’s legislation, The Health Care Affordability Act (H.R. 1868), would expand eligibility for premium tax credits to consumers with incomes above 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and would increase the size of the tax credit for all income brackets. With this legislation, introduced by Underwood on March 26, more than 10 million Americans who have insurance will see their premium costs reduced, and at least 9 million people who are currently uninsured would have access to lower-cost coverage. Under the legislation, 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 more than 39,000 people, including 75% of the uninsured.