WASHINGTON—Last night the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee favorably reported six bills that would take important steps to improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA), address the adverse actions of the Trump Administration and make health care more affordable and accessible if enacted into law.
“We applaud the Committee for taking action to improve the affordability, accessibility and awareness of health insurance. Since the passage of the ACA, uninsured rates for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have been cut in half, yet we risk slipping back without action,” said Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “We urge Congress to swiftly take up and pass these bills.’”
Among the bills passed include H.R.1386, “Expand Navigators’ Resources for Outreach, Learning, and Longevity (ENROLL) Act,” introduced by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14). The ENROLL Act would restore funding to the Navigator program and make improvements to allow Navigators to serve their communities better. “Passage of the ENROLL Act will ensure we put resources directly in communities to assist those in need,” added Ko Chin.
The committee also passed H.R. 987, “Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower (MORE) Health Education Act of 2019,” introduced by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE-At Large). This legislation would restore funding to ACA education, ensuring that consumers are aware of open enrollment and understand their health care options.
“Too few people, particularly those in immigrant and limited-English proficient communities, are aware of their ability to enroll in affordable, quality coverage. The MORE Health Education Act will ensure the federal government’s ACA education efforts are robust and appropriately targeted.”
The other bills include:
H.R.1385, “State Allowance for a Variety of Exchanges (SAVE) Act,” would provide states with funding to establish state-based Marketplaces.
H.R. 1010, “Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance,” would reverse the Administration’s inappropriate expansion of short-term, limited-duration insurance plans.
H.R. 986, “Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019,” would require the Administration to rescind waiver guidance undermining the law’s consumer protections.
H.R. 1425, “State Health Care Premium Reduction Act,” would establish reinsurance programs in ACA Exchanges, helping to bring down premiums and cost-sharing.