Congresswomen Williams, Underwood Lead Effort to Permanently Lower Health Care Costs

ATLANTA  Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) led a group of over 70 members of Congress in urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to include provisions in reconciliation legislation to permanently lower out-of-pocket health premium costs and extend Medicaid coverage to people in states that have refused to expand the program. These provisions would lower health care costs at a time when families are experiencing increased costs of living due to inflation and prevent premium increases at the end of the year when expanded tax credits are set to expire. 

The members wrote

“As negotiations continue around reconciliation legislation, we write to express our support for critical provisions to permanently lower out-of-pocket health care premium costs and ensure that low-income Americans in every state have health care coverage…We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make high-quality care affordable and accessible for all.”

In the letter, the Members called on the Senate to include two permanent health care provisions in a reconciliation package. The first provision was included on a temporary basis in the American Rescue Plan and has saved families an average of $2,400 per year on Marketplace health care premiums, leading to a record 14.5 million people signing up for Marketplace plans during the 2022 Open Enrollment period.

The second provision the members advocated for would ensure that low-income people living in states that have refused to expand Medicaid can finally gain coverage. Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, states have had the power to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals who have incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. However, 12 states including Georgia have continued to deny millions of Americans Medicaid coverage, 60% of whom are people of color. Making this provision permanent would help close the coverage gap and ensure low-income residents achieve affordable, quality coverage.

Click here to read the full text of the letter.



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