Representative Malinowski Statement on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act
(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, legislation that bolsters the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to lower health costs and prescription drug prices. You can find a video of Representative Malinowski’s floor remarks in support of the legislation here.
Last week the Trump Administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court asking it to strike down the ACA, despite a global pandemic that has killed over 13,000 New Jerseyans and left tens of millions Americans unemployed. Since the administration has not proposed a replacement for the ACA, striking down the law would strip health care protections from an estimated 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and take coverage away altogether from 23 million Americans.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act:
- Lowers health coverage costs by expanding the ACA’s insurance subsidies to cover more middle-class families and to be more generous for those already receiving them. Many enrollees will see their premiums cut by half or more, and for the first time, no one will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a silver plan in the ACA marketplaces.
- Allows Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices, making dozens of the most widely used drugs, including Insulin, less expensive, while saving taxpayers over $500 billion.
- Expands coverage, by pressing hold-out states to accept Medicaid expansion to help the 4.8 million Americans currently excluded from coverage, while restoring the outreach and advertising funding that the Administration has slashed.
- Combats inequity in health coverage faced by communities of color, by providing more affordable coverage to vulnerable populations and by requiring states to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to new mothers for a full year post-partum.
- Cracks down on junk plans & strengthens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, by reversing the Administration’s expansion of insurance plans that do not provide coverage for essential medical treatments and drugs, and that are allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Below is a transcript of Representative Malinowski’s remarks in support of the legislation.
“Madam Speaker, forty million Americans have lost their jobs in the biggest global pandemic in modern history. And not long ago, most of them would have lost their health insurance too. I bet that in the last three months, every single one of us, Republican and Democrat, in private or public moments with our constituents has reassured them that at least the Affordable Care Act is there for you. You do not have to lose your health insurance in the middle of this crisis.
So how can it be that at this very moment when the value of the ACA is so plainly obvious to tens of millions of Americans, that the Administration is in court trying to strike it down?
The President has told us repeatedly he wants to protect people with pre-existing conditions. But right there in his brief to the Supreme Court, it explicitly says that should be struck down too. And when we ask him, ‘What will you do to replace the ACA if it is struck down?’ He says, ‘I won't tell you until after the election.’ Come on.
Now, today we are going to pass the Patient Protection Act, which means unlike the President, we are willing to tell the American people now exactly how we plan to improve health care in America. We believe that the ACA should be improved, not taken away. And the Congressional Budget Office says that this plan for doing so will lower premiums Americans pay by 10%. President Trump said he wanted, in the 2016 election, to let Medicare negotiate the price of prescription drugs, which will save Americans money and save the government over $500 billion. And we want to eliminate the junk insurance plans that the Administration wants all those folks who are losing their jobs to take even though they don't cover essential services like prescription drugs and maternity care.
So I hope everyone will vote for this bill. If there are members who disagree, so be it. I would just ask, please be honest. Don't say you want to protect people with pre-existing conditions if you won't vote to do so or put forward a plan to do so. Don't advise your constituents to take advantage of the ACA, if you're not going to do anything while the President tries to strike it down.
Thank you, Madam Speaker. I yield back.”