Underwood’s Critical Legislation to Protect the Affordable Care Act Passes the House of Representatives
WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s (IL-14) legislation to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed the House of Representatives. The legislation, which was offered as an amendment to the House appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2021, would prevent the Department of Justice (DOJ) from spending federal funds on litigation that undermines the health care law.
“Affordable health care that covers pre-existing conditions has always been crucial, but it’s never been more important than it is right now. And while this health and economic crisis has been unfolding, the Trump Administration will still stop at nothing to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” said Underwood. “As a nurse and as an American with a pre-existing condition, I understand personally why we must fight this with everything we’ve got. One hundred thirty million Americans depend on it. Today we fight for them as we send a crystal clear message to the Trump Administration: keep your hands off our health care.”
Full video of Underwood’s remarks can be found here.
During the coronavirus pandemic, over 4 million Americans have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and nearly 5.4 million Americans became uninsured due to job loss from February to May of this year. If the ACA is struck down:
- 23 million Americans would lose the affordable care they depend on;
- Prescription drug costs would increase for seniors on Medicare;
- Insurance companies could cap benefits and kick children off their parents’ plans before their 26th birthday; and
- 5,471,600 Illinoisans and up to 130 million Americans who have preexisting conditions will lose their protections.
In Congress, Underwood has championed several bills to increase access to quality, affordable health care. In March 2019, Underwood introduced the Health Care Affordability Act to reduce 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 June 2020, Underwood’s legislation passed as part of H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. Underwood has also introduced two bills, the Chronic Condition Copay Elimination Act, and 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).