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As the Administration Renews its Efforts to Undermine the U.S. Healthcare System, Spanberger Helps Introduce Legislation to Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions, Make Healthcare More Affordable

Earlier Today, the Congresswoman Called out the Administration for Focusing on Scoring Political Points, Rather than Working to Address Healthcare Challenges

Washington, March 26, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today helped introduce legislation to lower health insurance premiums and protect Central Virginians with pre-existing conditions by stabilizing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Spanberger-backed legislation would help reverse the ongoing, partisan healthcare sabotage that has caused premiums and uninsured rates to rise across the country. The bill would improve and expand healthcare affordability, and the legislation would also strengthen tax credits, improve marketplace stability, and stop insurance companies from selling junk insurance plans.

Spanberger cosponsored this legislation following the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that it will encourage courts nationwide to strike down the entire ACA. Earlier today, Spanberger spoke out against the administration’s push to dismantle the existing healthcare law.

“As I traveled across our district last week and listened directly to Central Virginians, I consistently heard about the challenges facing real families as they struggle with rising premiums, prescriptions drug payments, and out-of-pocket costs. Right now, they need certainty—not the threat of a hyper-partisan, misguided lawsuit undermining their affordable coverage,” said Spanberger. “Today, I was proud to help introduce legislation that would maintain access to affordable healthcare for Central Virginia families and protect comprehensive coverage for small businesses and their employees. This legislation would prevent the proliferation of junk plans, and it would improve successful state efforts to expand healthcare coverage. Especially following the administration’s announcement that it will reup its efforts to dismantle popular consumer protections and wipe out Medicaid expansion, this bill reiterates our commitment to fighting for our neighbors—not fighting for special interests or the whims of a particular political party.”

Specifically, the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019 would help address the healthcare challenges facing Central Virginians by:

  • Lowering health insurance premiums with strengthened and expanded affordability assistance. The legislation would strengthen tax credits in the Marketplace to lower Americans’ health insurance premiums and allows more middle-class individuals and families to qualify for subsidies. Additionally, the bill would ensure that families who don’t have an offer of affordable coverage from an employer can still qualify for subsidies in the Marketplace.
  • Strengthening protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. This bill would curtail the administrations’ efforts to give states waivers to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions and weaken standards for essential health benefits. This provision would help maintain coverage for needed services, such as prescription drugs, maternity care, and substance abuse treatment.
  • Stopping insurance companies from selling junk health insurance plans. The legislation includes provisions that would prevent efforts to push Americans into junk health 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.

Spanberger has continued to push for legislative efforts to stabilize the healthcare marketplace and preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Earlier this month, Spanberger urged U.S. House committee leaders to prioritize strengthening the ACA and to build a strategy that increases access to affordable healthcare coverage.

Spanberger is also fighting to lower the high costs of prescription drugs in Central Virginia. Last month, she helped introduce legislation to address the prescription drug affordability crisis. The Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act would allow the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate prescription drug prices within Medicare Part D to help lower costs.

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