Delgado Votes to Protect Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions, Allow Medicare to Negotiate for Lower Drug Prices

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From the office of Representative Antonio Delgado:

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle in voting for H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act.

“Amid a global pandemic, there is nothing more important than protecting and expanding access to affordable, quality health care. I have made universal health care coverage a top priority from my first days in Congress and I’m glad to join in voting to solidify these important protections for every American,” said Rep. Delgado. “This legislation also includes critical provisions that allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs. I urge the Senate to take up this legislation as soon as possible and codify these protections for Americans most in need.”

H.R. 1425, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act includes numerous provisions to bolster the Affordable Care Act and lower health care costs while expanding the number of people receiving health care coverage. For the first time, no person will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a benchmark silver plan in the ACA marketplaces, and many Americans will see their premiums cut in half or more:

  • A family of four earning $40,000 would save nearly $1,600 in premiums each year.
  • A 64-year-old earning $57,420 would save more than $8,700 in premiums each year.
  • A single adult with an income of $31,900 would see premiums cut in half.
  • An adult earning $19,140 would see premiums cut to zero, saving $800 dollars a year.

The bill negotiates for lower prescription drug prices, so that Americans no longer have to pay more for our medicines than Big Pharma charges for the same drugs overseas.

The bill expands coverage, pressing Medicaid expansion hold-out states with new carrots and sticks to adopt coverage for the 4.8 million Americans cruelly excluded from coverage, while restoring the outreach and advertising funding that the Trump Administration has slashed to prevent Americans from learning about the affordable health coverage available to them under the ACA.

The bill combats inequity in health coverage faced by communities of color, expanding more affordable coverage to vulnerable populations and fighting the maternal mortality epidemic by requiring states to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to new mothers for a full year postpartum.

The bill cracks down on junk plans & strengthens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, reversing the Trump Administration’s expansion of 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.

In April 2019, Rep. Delgado introduced the Medicare-X Choice Act, legislation to create a public option health plan available for purchase on the individual and small business exchanges. The bill would combine Medicare physician networks and reimbursement rates with Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage standards to create a new, public health insurance option available to all Americans.

In December, the House passed Rep. Delgado’s Enhancing Retirement Security for Medicare Beneficiaries Act of 2019, which would lower out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for seniors and individuals with disabilities under Medicare, as part of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The provision championed by Rep. Delgado would exclude covered retirement accounts from counting as income for the purposes of determining eligibility under the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy (LIS) program.

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