06.29.20

Chairman Scott Urges Yes Vote on Bill to Strengthen the Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON – Chairman Scott delivered the following remarks during the floor debate of H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Enhancement Act.

“I rise in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. As we continue to confront the worst public health emergency in recent history, our first priority must be to protect the health and safety of the American people.

“But, during this pandemic, millions of people have lost their jobs.  Regrettably, in America, when you lose your job, you frequently lose your health insurance.

“Based on the job losses in March and April, alone, experts estimate that over 26 million people across the country have lost their job-based health insurance. 

“With so many workers looking to turn to the Affordable Care Act Marketplace for health care, we must be building on the progress we have made to expand access to affordable coverage.

“This is exactly what this bill does.

“For example, as my colleagues have noted, under the proposal, no person would pay more than 8.5 percent of income on benchmark silver-plans through the Marketplace.

“Moreover, we’re fixing the so-called family glitch, a technical problem that prohibits  families from getting affordable coverage.  We make that affordable coverage available for millions of working families.

“The legislation will also provide incentives to expand Medicaid so that low-income families across the country will have coverage regardless of where they live.

“It builds on existing patient protections by reversing the Trump Administration’s expansion of short-term, so-called junk plans, which discriminate against patients with pre-existing conditions and are not required to cover essential health benefits.

“These plans raise costs for everybody not in a plan and then abandon the patients when they get sick and actually need coverage. 

“And, finally, the Affordable Care Enhancement Act would save money for workers and employers by cutting the cost of prescriptive drugs and bringing them in line with costs people in other countries pay.

“When they talk about the loss in investments in research, listen very carefully because they’re saying that reducing the cost of prescriptive drugs is a bad thing.  Second, they’re talking about a previous version of the bill.  In this version of the bill, we have an amendment that puts more money into research and the NIH so those investments will continue to get made.

 “In contrast, the Trump Administration has continued to aggressively pursue the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit.  Just last week, the Department of Justice filed briefs urging that the Supreme Court overturn the Affordable Care Act.

 “If that suit is successful, all of the benefits of the ACA will be lost.  Tens of millions of people will lose insurance.  People with pre-existing conditions will lose their protections.  Affordability credits will evaporate.  Consumer protections will be lost.  This will happen in the middle of a public health emergency.

“For all those on the other side that say the Affordable Care Act has problems and that they have a replacement, remember what the CBO said about the bill the Republicans passed when they had the majority a few years ago.  

“They said the cost would go up 20 percent the first year, 20 million fewer people would have insurance, people with pre-existing conditions would lose their insurance, and the insurance you would get would be worse than what you got.

“We cannot afford to take this major step backwards in our efforts to put quality insurance within the reach of all Americans.

“This is why I urge all my colleagues to support the Affordable Care Enhancement Act so that we can strengthen the ACA and ensure millions of Americans will have access to better health insurance than what they have now and certainly better than what they would have if this lawsuit is successful.

“Madam Speaker, I yield the balance of my time.”

 

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