Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 1425), a bill to improve access to affordable health insurance, reduce health care costs, lower prescription drug prices and protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.
“As the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans continue to sabotage the American health care system amid an unprecedented public health emergency, House Democrats are taking meaningful action to reduce health care costs for American families and protect people with pre-existing conditions,” said Congressman Sarbanes, a prominent member of the House Subcommittee on Health. “Our latest effort to reduce out-of-pocket costs, lower prescription drug prices and reduce health insurance deductibles builds on our long-running and steadfast work to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.”
Key elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act include:
- Lowering Health Insurance Costs and Expanding Health Insurance Coverage – The bill helps more American families access high-quality and affordable health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
- Negotiating Lower Prescription Drug Prices – Similar to H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, the bill empowers Medicare to negotiate directly with Big Pharma to lower drug costs so that Americans no longer have to pay skyrocketing prices for prescription drugs.
- Addressing Health Disparities in Communities of Color – The bill expands affordable health insurance to vulnerable populations and helps fight the maternal mortality epidemic by requiring states to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to new mothers for a full year post-partum.
- Cracking Down on Junk Insurance Plans and Strengthening Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions – The bill prevents the Trump Administration from continuing to flood the market with shoddy health insurance plans that do not cover essential medical treatments or prescription drugs, and that discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions.