House Democratic leaders introduced the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019
By PVA National Staff
In late March 2019, House Democratic leaders introduced the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019, H.R. 1184, which is intended to strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions and address recent regulatory moves to weaken the Affordable Care Act. The bill would reverse efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services to give states waivers that undermine pre-existing condition protections in health insurance coverage and stop the expansion of so-called “junk insurance plans” that fail to provide adequate coverage and discriminate against some consumers. The legislation would also restore critical outreach and enrollment funding for navigators to assist consumers in signing up for health care plans.
To address the rising costs of health insurance coverage, the bill expands eligibility for premium tax credits beyond 400 percent of the federal poverty line and increases the size of tax credits for all income brackets. The legislation would also establish a national reinsurance program to help cover the costs of consumers with expensive medical conditions, which should lower premiums in general, and would offer funding to states to establish their own State-Based Marketplaces, which often offer lower cost health insurance plans.
This legislation is likely to pass the House whenever it is brought to the floor for a vote but its fate in the Senate is uncertain given the reluctance of Senate leadership to pursue health care reforms during the 116th Congress.