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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

On 9th Anniversary of the ACA, Rep. Bass Spotlights Plans to Protect People With Pre-Existing Conditions & Lower Americans’ Health Costs

March 23, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, marking the 9th anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) laid out plans to protect people with pre-existing conditions from the Trump Administration’s assault on the health law and called for steps to reverse Republicans’ health care sabotage and lower Americans’ premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

“One of my key goals here in Congress is to put an end to Republicans’ attacks on people with pre-existing conditions and to help make quality health care more affordable for every American,” said Rep. Bass. “On day one of this Congress, the House Democratic majority acted to intervene against the monstrous GOP health care lawsuit that seeks to destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and strip away every other benefit the Affordable Care Act provides.  Now, we are continuing to move forward with strong action to crack down on the Trump Administration’s junk health insurance plans, reverse the Republican health care sabotage that has driven up premiums and left more people uninsured, and continue to lower health costs and prescription drug prices for American families.”

Since its full implementation in 2014, the ACA has provided critical protections for the 130 million people in the U.S. with pre-existing conditions, including the 16.6 Californians with pre-existing conditions.  In addition, due to the ACA, by 2016, 20 million previously uninsured Americans had gained quality, affordable coverage.     

On January 3, 2019, Rep. Bass voted to authorize the House Counsel to intervene as a party in the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit, moving swiftly after a federal district court judge ruled in favor of Republicans, issuing a stayed decision in December that would strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, including:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions;
  • The ban on lifetime and annual limits on health coverage;
  • The Medicaid expansion covering 15 million Americans;
  • Health insurance affordability tax credits assisting 9 million Americans;
  • Bans on discriminatory insurance practices that force women to pay more for coverage;
  • Young adults’ ability to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and more.

On February 14, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the House’s motion to intervene against the Administration on behalf of Americans’ health care.

House Democrats are also already moving forward on several bills to protect Americans from junk plans, strengthen protections for pre-existing conditions, reverse the Republican sabotage that has increased the number of uninsured Americans and driven up premiums, and reduce prescription drug prices. The legislation includes provisions:

  • Rescinding the Trump Administration’s rule promoting junk insurance plans, which discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and do not cover many essential benefits.  This damaging rule would lead to substantially higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Restoring the Trump Administration’s 90 percent cut in funding for outreach and enrollment efforts – efforts that are proven to improve the risk pool and reduce premiums for all enrollees.
  • Restoring the Trump Administration’s 84 percent cut in funding for Navigators, who help families and communities with unique needs gain access to affordable health care, such as low-income families and families with low health insurance literacy.
  • Providing funding to states to help pay for health care costs for people with pre-existing conditions, thereby keeping overall premiums lower.
  • Providing funding to states to set up their own marketplaces.  This will empower states to expand coverage, lower costs, and combat the Trump Administration’s sabotage.
  • Lowering the costs of prescription drugs, including by facilitating greater competition from generic and biosimilar manufacturers and closing the loopholes that some brand-name drug companies are exploiting to game the system.

“Democrats are committed to lowering health care costs and ensuring that all Americans have access to quality and affordable health care,” Rep. Bass concluded.  “I hope that Republicans will stop supporting the Administration’s sabotage of health care and will begin working with Democrats to achieve more coverage and lower costs, and a dependable, reliable health care system that gives all Americans the peace of mind they deserve.” 

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